by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Someday, I hope in the not so distant future, the immediate threat of the coronavirus will have receded, and we will be able to reopen our cities and states and get back to the business of everyday life.
Many observers have said that the United States will never really go “back to normal” after a pandemic such as this one — not that we will never have daily lives resembling what they once did, but that the new normal will be different in significant ways. Some things very well could change for the worse. …
… But not every shift in our mindset will have been for the worse, and we can work to draw good out of this evil. For one thing, we are forming habits that we ought to practice already for the sake of general good health, such as frequent handwashing, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or an elbow. Many Americans, including some of our leaders, will emerge from this disaster with a healthy skepticism of the deceptive authoritarian regime in China and of the supposedly expert guidance from nongovernmental groups such as the World Health Organization.
At a smaller level, it’s easy to envision how daily life might improve in some ways as a result of what we’ve been through. For Americans lucky enough to have a job they can perform from home, this period of necessary teleworking could convince employers to be more lenient with workers who have demonstrated the ability to accomplish tasks outside the office.
This temporary shutdown certainly has revealed the importance of human contact and in-person workplaces, but it has illustrated, too, that modern technology gives us the gift of flexibility.
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