The Future after Covid-19:
Implications of a Global
This collaborative research project considers the future consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. The topics considered include: (1) healthcare, (2) education, (3) the socioeconomic contract between states and citizens, (4) food systems, (5) social relationships and interaction, (6) health literacy, (7) social movement politics, (8) accessibility and accommodations for the disabled and other high-risk groups, (9) gender roles and women’s rights, (10) global ecommerce, (11) sports and entertainment, and (12) urban planning. The research methods included examination of past epidemics and disasters, assembling information about the contemporary impacts of Covid-19, and attention to debates about future impacts. Interviews and short surveys provided additional information. While some trends were evident prior to the pandemic, and therefore relatively easy to predict, such as the exponential growth of ecommerce during the lockdown, other trends have stabilized, or even reversed course, such as the economic status of women. In other examples, we see divergent possibilities, such as the question whether office work will ever resume at full capacity, or will people continue to work from home after the pandemic? We also see the promotion of false claims, such as assertions made by university administrators that college students will be eager to continue learning remotely after the pandemic. Finally, we point to some changes—such as the renegotiation of the socioeconomic contract, including universal health care and living wages, or steps to enhance trust in medical information—that would benefit society should they be implemented.