We’re reopening the economy while COVID-19 is still here, well into 2020. From the looks of it, there will be COVID-21, too. And if this prediction comes true, will the economy survive it? What business can endure alternating for so long between opening and closing?
Some industries are essential. There is no question that food, housing, gas, electric power, and education are required. As for the rest, only a fraction of the pre-coronavirus transactions were truly necessary. In the new reality, what is not essential dies.
But governments will need money. Essential sectors such as food production and various services will provide work to some of the people, but the majority will be out of work for good. We have entered a world where joblessness is the norm, and occupation the exception. How will people live? If countries spend their currency reserves on futureless sectors, they will not have the resources to support people through the process of adapting their lives to the coronavirus era.
To adapt the society to the new era, all those who are out of work today, and will probably remain so, should be admitted into a program that will inform them about the new reality and teach them how to live in it. During the course, they will receive a full scholarship that will sustain them and their families.
The courses will not only provide information about the new world; they will also help the participants develop the right attitude to living in a world where people have abundant free time.
Just as people learn about the mindset required to succeed in the business world, or the attitude required to succeed in the high-tech industry, people will need to get acquainted with the frame of mind of the COVID era.
Accordingly, the program will include exercises in social communication that builds connections suitable for a world where everyone is dependent on everyone else, regular jobs are scarce, and people must rely on each other for their survival. Gradually, people will come to find value in bonding and socializing more than in their previous values such as obtaining wealth and power.
As the courses focus on fostering bonds among people, mutual responsibility, awareness of others’ needs, and concern for society, people will begin to think of these positive social values as the product of their learning. Just as it is possible to accumulate wealth, it is possible to accumulate happiness.
The more people become socially integrated, the happier and safer they will feel. People’s values and aspirations from life will change to ones that give them true and lasting satisfaction.
In this way, the coronavirus will usher us into a new reality, where some of the people tend to everyone’s sustenance, and the rest of the people tend to everyone’s happiness.