I predict a leaner future. Either it will be because of collapse of food supply change leading to widespread famine conditions, or it will be because of a reconditioning of people to be happy eating less in quantity and in extravagance.
Human-based governments are not well equipped to handle the contradiction we are facing now. We have to make decisions now based on the influential population we have now. As a result, we are unable to consider the needs of the influential population we will have when this crisis is over. Most of the decisions made now will benefit people who will no longer be around when the future has to deal with the consequences. In addition many of those who do survive will be handicapped directly by the policies we made to benefit people who are no longer around.
I see a very grim future for current governments that are already trapped by their decisions with the only option to ratchet up the restrictions and government dependencies. It is possible that a brighter future could emerge under an algorithmic driven government with the properties described above of punctuated liberty with extensive data use.
Based on our current system of government based on democratic processes and product liability lawsuits, we deny ourselves an option to responding to this epidemic: availability of consumer life-support systems. This option potentially could save more lives or at least provide comfort to more people than what hospitals can dispense. It is because of our forms of governing that we have made such devices illegal or prohibitively expensive for consumers.
In a pandemic, there are primarily just a few conditions that need treatment, where pneumonia is probably the most common. So, part of preparation for a future pandemic should have focused more attention on preparing for pneumonia treatment instead of counting on processes to prevent the pandemic to spread in the first place. If we had better treatment for pneumonia and had better stores of equipment to manage the condition, we would have less to fear from pandemics.
Based on the recent policy decisions, we have learned that pandemics are unavoidable and unpredictable. We learned that the best minds in epidemiology dictate a policy that inevitably kills businesses instantly, and obliterates capital everywhere. We learned there is no point in any form of long-term planning or investing because the public policy is that everything is expendable when it comes to fighting a pandemic of anything with an elevated rate of mortality.
As during the Prohibition where people moved their social gathering from public bars and saloons to their private residences, I think the same thing will happen now. Social gathering in comparable numbers will resume but they will be in private “speak easy” locations with restricted entry to those who have the right test results instead of knowing the right password.