Predictions for social changes post Covid,

In particular, social changes that may have a long term drag on our economy.
Greetings all, I was seeing on an economics blog several points about how there will be long term economic ramifications from this Covid crisis. Lower GDP, productivity loss, bankruptcy, etc. But what I want to focus on here is this:
What are the changes that you or others might make that will have a long lingering impact on economic conditions. And I don't mean this only in a negative way. Though you not spending money is positive for you, it might be negative for someone else. The reason I think there will be real societal changes from this crisis is related to that old saying "it takes 21 days to change a habit". Well, most Americans are going to have 21 days to change a habit. Whether due to stay at home measures or other social distancing. And (I think) everyone is going to be more mindful of their pocketbook during this time. So, let me make a few predictions and I would love it if you did too.

1, I think people will want to hold more in savings if they can. This will drive down consumption long term. My prediction number one sets the stage for the next predictions.
2, I think people will drink less fancy coffees. With weeks of not being able to go to Starbucks to get a 6$ (with tip) people will come to enjoy a simple home made cup of coffee, made peacefully in their own home.
3, brown bag lunches. Everyone has lots of free time on their hands right now. They will get back to prepping their own food and after a month of doing so will want to save money at the work cafeteria or avoiding getting take out at work.
4, after school activities. Jr and Ms have sure been enjoying karate and dance class. But just being at home with the family has turned out to be enjoyable too. The habit of racing to pick one kid up from school to deliver them to a class while a spouse runs the other around, once that habit has been broke, who wants to go back to it?
5, exercise classes at 70-100$ month minimum. New habits will be formed, walking, running, lifting weights in your own home. Push ups, sit ups and burpees will be all the rage.
6, gray hair and simple styles. As a stylist myself I am imagining how my clients that needed a trim every 4 weeks are getting by. Roots that needed to be done at 4 weeks are going to have to wait until 10 weeks. At least here in Minnesota. I expect a lot of 60-70 year olds will take this moment to go gray. And opt for simpler styles that don't need monthly maintenance. Oh yeah, and weekly blowouts- my guess is that many of the weekly types will transition out of that.
7, people might even to decide to wash their own car,
and last but not least,
8, gardens, chickens and other forms of self sustenance. What a perfect season for those who do have time on their hands.

So I am curious, what do you think will be the societal changes that might impact long term spending habits?

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thanatokephaloides's picture

8, gardens, chickens and other forms of self sustenance. What a perfect season for those who do have time on their hands.

And land. Don't forget land.

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17 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides Yes, I realize that I wrote this from a somewhat privileged point of view. Being a homeowner I have some room to garden. But renters of apartments or condos maybe don't have such an option. Also I realize that for some this isn't a moment in history where there is free time. Sorry if I have offended anyone speaking in some of the generalities that I have.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wouldsman

If anything, apropos to the Essay's theme, I was going to suggest that one "silver lining" change this plague might wreak is the deprecation of apartment living and a retrenchment in the direction of single family houses with yards (social distancing) for all classes of people.

Like our canine companions, we humans need landed space of our own. COVID-19 would never have become the plague it has in a world where the norm isn't life stacked like cordwood in ships, airplanes, and apartment buildings. [*]

Smile

[*] edit: Or packed like lemmings in shiny metal boxes....

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8 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

how to cook, because they're here every evening, with no homework. I ask them what we're making, supervise the kitchen, lose patience with their glacial execution of simple prep ...

Strange times.

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18 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Daenerys's picture

@UntimelyRippd Cooking is a valuable life skill that everyone should have, IMO. Their prep will go faster as they learn.

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20 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

@Daenerys
i should've been making them do this years ago. but, you know ... kids these days

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13 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Daenerys's picture

I hope.
We're miles ahead of a lot of people since we already know how to garden and cook from scratch. But now everyone wants to make their own bread (and cakes, presumably) so flour is hard to come by, which isn't good for me since I already know how (made three loaves already in the last week and a half or so) and baking is what I do. Sad
You can get decent coffee from Costco; whole bean, grind your own; who needs Starbucks anyway.

I only get my hair cut about once a year anyway. I wish I could dye my hair purple again but my mom would complain and I don't want to fight about it.

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14 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

Pricknick's picture

@Daenerys
Lets's me know she's still all there.
Smile

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Daenerys's picture

@Pricknick My mom complains about everything though, so I don't like to add more fuel to the tire fire.

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7 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

@Daenerys
of the topics of complaint.

There are certain reviewers of scientific articles who just don't feel like they've done their job if they haven't identified something that needs to be fixed. Clever tacticians will deliberately leave holes in the presentation -- basically, throwing the reviewer a bone -- so they can avoid a pissing match over some other thing that will be difficult (or even impossible) to "remedy".

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Daenerys

My mom complains about everything though, so I don't like to add more fuel to the tire fire.

Buy more GOOD cheese! Then you'll be equipped for your mother's whines!
/s

Wink

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Pricknick's picture

@Daenerys

I wish I could dye my hair purple again

Your mother is important but not as much as you.
Do it. For you.

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5 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

enhydra lutris's picture

society is enormously non-homogeneous and GDP is total bullshit, but I doubt that we can expect the populace to catch on to that. When looking at the likelihood that current behaviors will become habits you need to consider some of that variability.

Those who have lost their jobs versus those who haven't.
Those who will get their jobs back versus those who won't.
How comfortable their incomes were before and during the crisis.
How dependent upon outside services they were and are.

A huge chunk of the populace never learned to cook and are still not doing so, but finding work-arounds, and they are likely to go right back to their old ways. I know some of them.

Many are quasi extroverts and other directed whose social life and "life" is centered around the job, the club, restaurants and bars, lunches and luncheons, etc. Only some of them will wind up involuntarily weaned from that lifestyle unless they have lost their jobs.

We have a garden; Nobody we know who doesn't already have one is starting one or planning one, though some bemoan their lack of space, time, skills, energy or whatever and allege that they "wish they could" ... (This also applies to cooking and baking to a large degree as well)

The US populace is readily sold and readily follows. Marketing and Advertising is one of our bigger industries. We have been being molded into consumers since the fifties. That's 70 years of conditioning. "They" are much more expert as selling and behavior management than the bulk of the populace is at resisting their efforts.

It would be nice to see radical change, but I see and hear a lot of the populcae simply yearning for and craving normalcy as they know it.

be well and have a good one.

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16 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

forever. Don't buy a new car or major appliance for ten years. If something breaks, fix it. Find local shops that can actually repair things, and give them your business. Better yet, teach yourself to mend and fix the fewer, simpler belongings you will own.

Work a lot less, with more work from home - all that rubbing elbows with the boss was never really needed (or wanted), anyway. Is your job really even necessary, to you or anyone, else? Caitlan published an excellent column on that a week or two ago.

Take the time to walk or ride a bike to the store most days. A mile or two extra under your own power, and you can save the gym fee. Sweat doing something useful, like gardening.

Forget your credit score. Sleep at night. Let capitalism die, and enjoy life.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@leveymg

could not. Demand for bicycles has skyrocketed, at least here in Georgia. Gets them out of their cars and closer to other people.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady @Lily O Lady It forces and focuses reality, and makes common solutions to real social problems possible. In the absence of effective politics, every few generations, human beings need a good social crisis to shake themselves free of bad habits and corrupt institutions.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

That’s why this is happening. People are becoming more introspective and will begin to make changes toward a more loving society. We are in this until late summer, early fall, so habits/life will undoubtedly change.

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14 users have voted.

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I love your focus on what *we* will do. I aspire to getting around to talking about that, one day.

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11 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cassiodorus's picture

in the United States who will be completely dispossessed. Landlords will kick them out onto the streets; they will form vast, rioting mobs which will overwhelm police abilities to turn them back. Martial law will be declared; but the Armed Forces will be decimated by further outbreaks of COVID-19.

Nobody will care about savings, fancy coffees, exercise, or styles. What will matter will be the creation, from scratch, of inclusive social orders. Maybe a few chicken coops can contribute to those orders.

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13 users have voted.

"To ask how capitalism puts natures of all kinds to work is also to recognize capitalism’s pathology – and its exterminism." -- Jason W. Moore

whatever we think, the main goal will to be to get Casino Wall Street back on it's feet. Trump or Hidin' Joe Biden, it won't matter. Once it records enough positive quarters the recession/depression will be officially over. Then back to deficit reduction and tax cutting.

What we do is another story. Will we have gone through this together and come out the other side together, or do we come out pointing fingers at each other over who got the most crumbs, who was the biggest victim?

Sanders was more right than any of the politicians on the stage today. We could have been moving towards something together instead of hoping each of us won't be overlooked. While we talk about what we do ourselves, baking bread, planting, fixing, what we miss the most is the "stopping by" with the extra loaf, the bag of beans, the extra hand.

Maybe it's our age and time is passing us by, but I have never been more pessimistic about the future. For the youngers, how do you get back what they never had? But we did, once.

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CB's picture

@Snode

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Snode

Maybe it's our age and time is passing us by, but I have never been more pessimistic about the future. For the youngers, how do you get back what they never had? But we did, once.

sadder still to watch it die than never to have known it.....

Sad

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

janis b's picture

One of the things I’ve noticed for myself and the people I’m closest to, is that we are reaching out as much as each us is comfortable with at the moment. In other words, maybe we’re learning to be more ‘real’ with each other. I have no idea whether the practices we are following during this time will be sustained (at least to some degree) in whatever the future holds, but for now it gives me some comfort.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

...that menacingly democratic institution of parks in particular; in addition to the "wanting what you can't have" effect, I keep hearing about people going out to parks and such right now; quite a recovery from the previous sad decline of public spaces I'd been hearing about prior - even I just spent the better part of today at a botanical park with my parents (autistic, obsessive-compulsive, naturally ascetic recluse that I am, the scourge has changed my lifestyle very little save for my love of restaurants).

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

I am appreciating all of your views.
While it is scary out there, it is refreshing to think we live in a time of great change.
Someone said recently about change:
sometimes weeks worth of change take years to happen, sometimes years of change happen in a week.
And also,
if you want things to stay the same, you are going to have to make some changes.

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