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Life with coronavirus, or the world we might have lost

Niall Ferguson

By Niall Ferguson (original source The Boston Globe)

“Social mores change more than you think. If a time machine could take you back to 1981, you would be shocked by how much people smoked, for example. If you are a woman, you might be appalled by the overt sexism of male conversation. If you’re not white, you’d encounter much more explicit racism than today. And if you’re gay … well, more about that later. None of this has been eradicated. But it was so much worse, and more widely tolerated, then.

So let’s ask ourselves how much social mores are going to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In the past week, I’ve had several conversations on the topic of “The World After COVID-19.” My immediate response has been, “Why do you use the word “after?” Why not “with?”

Yes, there is undoubtedly a benign scenario in which one of the more than 70 teams currently working on a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 collects the prize. If all goes well, that vaccine could jump through all the scientific and regulatory hoops, go into mass production, and be available by some time in the second half of 2021.”

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