A Thought Experiment

Photo by Pille-Riin Priske on Unsplash

Here’s a poser for your brain…What will America look like after Covid-19?

If you think that’s a silly question or that it’s too soon to worry about any permanent changes to how Americans go about their day to day lives then perhaps, you should just sit this experiment out. But first, let me explain why I’m pondering these and other questions.

I write and sell books. This is how I earn money. And, I have two books scheduled for release this year; two very good books I’ve spent time and money on so that I can bring them to a reading public. Yet now because of Covid-19, some of my scheduled signings are being canceled, primarily the ones in March and April. I have yet to hear of any more, though I’m positive the email of cancellation will arrive in my inbox as soon as it becomes clear that life as we’ve known it has changed.

And let’s be clear, it has changed. What has happened in Italy will be our future. America is not prepared. And with stay-at-home orders coming out daily, we are learning how disruptive a pandemic can be. We’re also discovering just how fragile our economy is, how silly toilet paper hoarders are, and that some individuals are perfectly happy to ignore the warnings of scientists and doctors in the pursuit of their own personal wealth.

Based on what has happened thus far…

Here is a list of questions we need to ask ourselves:

  • In an economy based on capitalism and a service industry workforce, how are Americans going to make money if we continue to practice social distancing for more than a month? 2 months.. 3 months… 6 months?
  • Will the internet become the preferred way to shop? In essence, could every Mom and Pop business have their own Webstore instead of a brick and mortar storefront?
  • Will Take Out and Delivery become the new normal for restaurants in this country? If that happens, will the standard tip disappear?
  • If we can’t gather in large crowds for sports events, how will the NBA, NFL and other sports organizations reinvent themselves? Will Americans turn to virtual-styled sports entertainment?
  • Is access to the internet a privilege? Or in an ever more-dependent technology-driven world, should it be considered a utility?
  • After Covid-19, will higher education (College) go to online classes as a first choice instead of a last choice? And will that affect the cost of tuition?
  • Will health care become a right instead of a privilege in America?
  • After Covid-19, will parents have a deeper appreciation for teachers in this country? Will teachers get a pay raise?
  • Will home vegetable gardens, canning, and other self-sufficient skills become fashionable?
  • Will we stop giving those doomsday preppers the side-eye? I did, after trying to stock my pantry with more than just a can of soup and Oreos.
  • Will America tackle the question of universal basic income? Now that you can’t work, the idea isn’t so crazy, is it?

These are just some of the questions that I have been pondering while staying at home. And I don’t really have any answers. I guess, like you, I just have a lot of time on my hands.

I don’t know how I’m going to go about marketing my third book in June. Perhaps I can do a virtual book-signing through my website. Mmmm, perhaps. Or, I’ll roll the dice and pin all my hopes on online ebook sales. But whatever I decide, I will find a way to reach readers. They’re the reason I write the books and without them, I might as well stop writing.

At this point in time, there is no reason to assume that Covid-19 will act like the flu and that once the warm weather gets here the virus will suddenly disappear. It’s now making its way into India and South Africa, so heat may not slow it down. Health professionals are saying it might be a year before we have a vaccine. So, wash your hands. Wear gloves. Keep your distance. And enjoy your family while staying safe.

Oh, and read a book. 🙂

Author: TarrantSmith

I'm an old soul born at a young age, and a full-time author working on a new series.