Long-term impact of the coronavirus

FCFE's picture
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There has been multiple threads about the virus itself and the proper response to it. I want to start this thread to begin a discussion of the long-term impact across multiple dimensions: political, cultural, social, economic, business.

Here are some of my predictions:

-Decoupling from China will accelerate significantly. Americans will become more anti-China and anti-immigration and far more skeptical of globalism and multinational organizations. The U.S. will be the most isolationist it has ever been since the 1920s.

-Both political parties will increasingly become populist. The 2020s will be the decade of fervent populism, a reaction against the elites. Goldwater-Reagan conservatism will be dead within the GOP, replaced by a conservative nationalism that calls for more government interventions on behalf of workers, skepticism of "free" trade deals, and reduction of immigration. The Democrats will be a de fact socialist party in which the ideas of Bernie will be the ideological standard.

-Telecommuting will be far more common and become a "normal" aspect of white collar jobs. Videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom will skyrocket in value.

-Colleges will lose their value. Parents who lost their savings in the stock market and lost their jobs will wonder what value their kids are getting from these colleges, as they turn to online courses. The top schools will be fine, but the lower tier ones will get crushed. Many will shut down.

-The maturation and commercial viability of VR and AR will accelerate. Even when the virus is over, in-home entertainment will become a standard part of weekends, with the bar and nightclub industries getting crushed. Due to this trend, companies such as Facebook and others tech players will increase their spending on producing viable entertaining VR and AR platforms.

-Further decline in birth rates as people question the wisdom of bringing kids into this environment. The U.S. birth rate is already low, and I think this will get worse.

-Continual decline in revenue from ticket sales to major sporting events, concerts, and movie theaters. E-sports will become huge. Within 20 years, the top gamers will be household names in a manner similar to Brady and Lebron.

Comments (28)

Mar 22, 2020

People aren't going to stop going to bars. Everyone I know if losing their minds right now due to boredom of staying in on weekends.

Gamers being household names? I don't even know what to say to that.

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Mar 22, 2020

Gamers being household names? I don't even know what to say to that.

I would have ridiculed it myself in the past, but not anymore.

An interesting event happened a few days ago. Since NASCAR cancelled their upcoming events like the other sports, a lot of the top pro drivers (including recently-retired Dale Earnhardt Jr.) did a virtual sim race online. Apparently the high-end video game racing simulators have gotten so good that driving them is actually pretty similar to real stock car driving. And there's an eNascar pro league with virtual races at virtual versions of the famous tracks. It has its own press coverage, sponsorships, fans, and prize money. I had never heard of any of this until just now.

Here's the video of the race:

I'm not much of a NASCAR fan, but I've watched it on TV casually. To my untrained eyes, this is about as entertaining as watching an actual race on TV. And the quality will only get better over time.

Fox News coverage of the event:

https://www.foxnews.com/auto/josh-williams-nascar-iracing-replacements-coronavirus
The future is going to be pretty weird...kind of like the Matrix, except that we plug ourselves in voluntarily.

Mar 22, 2020

And to add to that, teenagers play an insane amount of video games. They don't play outside like we used to when we were their age. They basically live online.

I'm guessing most of the 30+ people have not heard of a guy who goes by the name, "Ninja." I didn't know who he was until recently. He is one of the world's best "Fortnite" players and makes seven figures from playing and streaming it. The guy is a legit celebrity with the younger crowd. In 20 years, it e-sports will be absolutely YUGE.

Mar 22, 2020

Telehealth will become increasingly popular as there will be a greater focus on managing on-going hospital capacity, along with patients hesitant to go to clinics/hospitals due to fear of contracting an illness.

Mar 22, 2020

Grocery pickup will become the standard, as people realize they wasted hours of their lives shopping down aisles in an inefficient manner. Certain grocery stores will convert into a warehouse/pickup-only and save money on displays, marketing, personnel etc. which will allow them to get food to consumers even cheaper.

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Mar 23, 2020

Long Ocado

Mar 23, 2020

Do you know if they'll be entering the US market any time soon? I remember reading they have a partnership of some kind with Kroger

Mar 24, 2020

good point

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Mar 22, 2020

I'll take the other side of all of these, other than the first 2. People forget easily. In a few years, this will be a distant memory, and in 50 years when the next pandemic comes, we will be similarly unprepared.

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Mar 22, 2020

Nothing will change. People move on rather quickly.

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Mar 22, 2020

Another one:

-People will stop paying exbortitant prices for shit like iPhones (1000+) realizing their one month away from becoming homeless

Mar 22, 2020

Nope. So many idiots out there would rather be homeless than give up the latest iPhone. Those IG selfies ain't gonna take themselves.

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Mar 23, 2020
FCFE:

The Democrats will be a de fact socialist party in which the ideas of Bernie will be the ideological standard.

I disagree. The dems have already rejected Bernie's ideas in the primaries. Most democrats do not want socialism.

Mar 23, 2020
financeabc:
FCFE:

The Democrats will be a de fact socialist party in which the ideas of Bernie will be the ideological standard.

I disagree. The dems have already rejected Bernie's ideas in the primaries. Most democrats do not want socialism.

Bernie lost because he is a terrible candidate, and voters did not think he could beat Trump. But Bernie's policies are fairly popular with the Democratic base. If Trump wins re-election, the Dems will nominate a socialist in 2024.

Mar 23, 2020

Exactly. His campaign has caused Joe, who was otherwise a more centrist politician before, to adopt a more leftist platform in general, especially considering that in order to get the nomination he has to get Bernie voters to vote for him instead.

It's been widely documented that both parties are becoming increasingly more partisan and polarized, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that more and more socialist candidates would get fielded by the Democrats (and candidates further to the right by the Republicans). This polarization is also spreading from national politics to the state and municipal level as well, and will most likely only exacerbate in the future.

Mar 23, 2020

Every poll indicated that he could beat Trump and he finished 2nd in a field of 29 dems. In sports, if you finish 2nd out of 29, you made it to the championship series.

Mar 24, 2020

Keep in mind, Bernie lost because the majority of voters (people who actually go vote, not just who are of voting age) are old, and harbor less progressive views. He won the majority of the young adult/millennial vote, and I don't see those people changing their views any time soon. As the older voters die out, the young views become the majority. Bernie might be out of the game by then, but the ideas surely won't.

Mar 24, 2020
PMT6735:

Keep in mind, Bernie lost because the majority of voters (people who actually go vote, not just who are of voting age) are old, and harbor less progressive views. He won the majority of the young adult/millennial vote, and I dont see those people changing their views any time soon. As the older voters die out, the young views become the majority. Bernie might be out of the game by then, but the ideas surely won't.

It's a testament of how bad our education system is that young people embrace socialism. The horrors of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust are well taught in secondary schools, and plenty of movies have explored that topic. However, there isn't that much teaching of the horros of communist China and the Soviet Union. That's a tragedy. Students should learn about Stalin's gulags, Mao's great leap forward and cultural revolution, Castro regime in Cuba, etc.

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Mar 24, 2020

I see your usual talking point buts no mention of healthcarepharma and paid leave being a major linchpin as far as policy if this thing becomes widespread. Why is that? Is it that you chose to reaffirm your usual talking points (ie immigration)?

In my opinion, it's far more likely that universal healthcare and government mandated paid leave gets another push/eventually passed as a result of this than it is we turn back the clock to the 1920s and become isolationists. We are in a global economy now and I don't think COVID-19 is going to change that.

Americans were already resentful of China and that won't change, but we will keep on buying their goods, providing student visas to their citizens, and engaging in trade with them. That's just the reality.

And I actually think it'll be the exact opposite of your assertion regarding bars/nightclubs. This amount of isolation will have people desperate to be social and I believe restaurants/bars/clubs will be extremely busy once this thing subsides.

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Mar 24, 2020

I was simply asserting that you bypassed the most obvious policy prediction of them all in favor of some hackneyed "analysis" of immigration (it won't change with regards to China) because it corroborates your pre-existing views.

As for your bars/clubs statement, you need to segregate Coronavirus effects vs. other longer-term trends (people being more introverted). I thought you were discussing bars/clubs slowing down specific to COVID-19. Adding other trends seems to be muddying waters.

Also, not your homie. Not sure as to your impetus for referring to me as such but it doesn't seem to be part of your regular dialogue on this website...

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Mar 24, 2020
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