COVID-19 Consequences

The third week of March in 2020 is the week that America changed. What trends may emerge thereafter? I'll post some interesting links as I find them.

  • Nine years ago, historian J. Rufus Fears stood in the OCPA boardroom and warned that the Chinese communists are xenophobic despots who hate the United States and can ruin our economy. Fast forward to 2020 and another classicist, Victor Davis Hanson of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, says the Chinese communists’ coronavirus coverup will leave China "in its weakest global position in memory. And the U.S. will emerge stronger. Here in the U.S., COVID-19 will create bipartisan pressure to adopt policies of keeping key U.S. industries—such as medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and military applied high-tech—in America. Americans will not again wish to outsource the vast majority of their chemotherapy-drug, antibiotic, and heart-medicine production to a government that cannot be trusted and that sees such globalized output as a weapon to be used in extremis."
  • "The notion of very open international borders will seem strange and indeed intolerable," Tyler Cowen writes.
K-12 education
  • "Sometimes disasters lead to vast institutional change, such as when Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans and prompted the unprecedented creation of a nearly all-charter school system," Kerry McDonald writes at Forbes. "These systemic shocks can trigger a fresh look at norms and power structures and cause some to question if there is another, better way. Most of the 300 million schoolchildren currently quarantined in their homes will return to school once the epidemic fades. But some parents may discover that learning outside of schooling benefited their children and strengthened their family. They may start to wonder if homeschooling or other schooling alternatives could be a longer-term option. They may realize that education without schooling is not a crisis but an opportunity."
  • Joy Pullmann can foresee a massive shift in education.
Higher education
  • "Tyler Cowen’s predictions include the death of college as we know it at this point, and I absolutely agree," Ben Domenech writes on March 20. "What parenteven one with very steady work throughout the next three monthswould be willing to plunk down a vast sum of cash after such an uncertain time given the damage to their portfolio and their livelihood? No, it’s time for Madison to take a gap year until we figure out what’s going onshe can take online classes and make up for the lost time with friends, and who would want her on a campus surrounded by disease (and not the kind preceded by fun) in the fall if this thing comes back with a vengeance? This will create massive funding problems for higher ed, particularly the overpriced middle tier of non-state schools. ... Schools that didn’t sufficiently invest in online learning will get burned."
  • "Now that students have returned home for distance learning, countless higher ed administrators—from the offices of diversity & inclusion, Title IX, student life, etc.—suddenly have very little to do," John David of the National Association of Scholars writes on March 24. "Maybe Chief Diversity Officers’ six-figure salaries can be cut to help save schools. Or the hefty funding allotted to Offices of Multicultural Affairs can be temporarily slashed during a time of emergency. Or countless other cuts to expenses about which we don’t even know."
Mass transit
  • "Just as the notorious public housing projects built for the poor in American cities as the wave of the future in the middle of the last century ended up being breeding grounds for violent crime and economic despair, the same approach of treating commuting human beings as cattle to be managed by their bureaucrat betters in authority above them is now proliferating a deadly imported pathogen that will transport death to the masses," Thomas McArdle writes ("Mass Transit, The Pandemic Petri Dish The Left Loves"). Tyler Cowen also predicts that "the case for mass transit also will seem weaker, because subways and buses will be associated with the fear of Covid-19 transmission." Steve Hayward adds: "Even the New York Times admits that high-density urban form and mass transit, which environmentalists have been trying to cram down our throats for the last 25 years, are detrimental to controlling a pandemic."

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