Greek American Yale Professor Nicholas Christakis offered his insight as to how the Covid-19 pandemic will change the course of humanity last week. Christakis appeared on PBS and gave his analysis of the next steps of the pandemic.
Christakis explained to host Hari Sreenivasan that the pandemic will pass through an immediate phase, an intermediate phase, and a post-pandemic phase. The prominent sociologist detailed how we have passed through the immediate phase– a period where the virus first emerges and overwhelms the population– into the intermediate phase, where the world builds a path towards endemicity through herd immunity and vaccination.
Sreenivasan then asked Christakis what he believed the consequences of long Covid will be for society, to which the professor replied by offering an overarching analysis of the gravity of the pandemic:
“I think I’d like to answer that by actually stepping back even more. I think the average American has not been able to fully appreciate the gravity of what has happened to us as a people.
“About 800,000 of our fellow citizens have died. I think about 1,00,000 of our fellow citizens will have died of this condition before the pandemic is over. We have had millions of children miss school,” Christakis continued.
“We have had millions of Americans lose their jobs. We have had millions of businesses closed. We are borrowing trillions of dollars against the future. One estimate of the economic consequence of this virus puts it at 16 trillion dollars. Which is an economic disaster that surpasses the great depression.”
“There are so many ways this virus is harming us. I don’t think people have fully appreciated the magnitude to which this is happening,” Christakis added.
Nick Christakis predicts an era of profound change following the Covid-19 pandemic
Christakis is the author of “Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live,” which predicts the societal changes which will be inevitably wrought once we reach the post-pandemic era.
Christakis believes that transformation will occur across all human societies as a result of the lifting of constraints the public has had to accept during lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions.
Christakis says that the people of the world will go through a time of unbridled consumer enthusiasm and lessened social constraints after the coronavirus releases its grip on the globe. This period will resemble the Roaring Twenties, which followed the Spanish Flu and World War I.
After having been forced to spend a great deal of time at home during the pandemic, people will feel as if they have been unleashed once they are finally able to go out and about in society freely once again.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced all peoples everywhere to be more inward-turned, more philosophical and religious, according to the scholar — as a matter of course, since our interaction with others has been so severely curtailed in the past year.