Now that mass vaccination is around the corner, it seems as though everyone will return to the 2019 way of life, before the coronavirus took over human civilization. But I think we’re in for a surprise. Once everyone is healthy and we can all travel and do what we were used to doing, I think we will discover we have moved on from our previous lives. We have begun a new stage in our development. I don’t think people will run back to working in offices, though some will do. I don’t think people will fall back into the “travelmania” that engulfed the world like a pandemic prior to Covid-19, and I don’t think we will go out as much as we did, even though it will be safe.
I think we have grown a little, become more settled. It is said that humans are social beings and need people around them, but are we really so? We need jobs because we need an income, so we socialize with colleagues, but are we social beings? We also need confirmation, which we can only get from other people, so we have to communicate with others, try to dominate them, get their approval or make them subordinate to us. But these are not social needs; they are selfish needs that require satisfaction.
It seems to me that the coronavirus has given us new joys in being with ourselves or with our families and enjoying this more than competing with the world for power and prestige the way we did before, often for lack of choice. Clearly, not everyone has changed in this way, but I’m sure that enough people have changed to make the shift felt, lasting, and growing.
When we’re young, we look at others and imitate what they do. As we grow up, we develop a more individual personality and our instinctive tendency to follow the herd diminishes. I think that humanity is going through a similar phase. We will begin to ask ourselves more often, “What for? Is it worth it? Will I get any real benefit out of doing what everyone is doing?”
I still don’t know what will replace our old pleasures, what will come instead of traveling, for example. To a great extent, this depends on opinion leaders and people at the top, who want to entice us into spending money on things that don’t give us any lasting satisfaction since it’s lucrative for them. But either way, it seems to me that we have come down from our pre-Covid frenzy and will now be more settled, composed, or in other words, mature.