69. The cathartic positive impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Evolution and progress are often presented, when graphed, as a continuum, a straight upward slope. This is an oversimplification, as most history is. They are better depicted as a sloping saw edge, with fast change peaks inserted into longer, nearly flat periods. Fast progress tends to be the result of the catharses that follow catastrophes. Technological progress has been mostly driven by war or scarcity. Social progress, by famine or unbearable inequality. Today’s pandemic could have similar aftershocks. The first obvious effect of the lockdown is the incorporation to the digital world of most of those who had so far shunned it. Old Age Pensioners joining web meetings, Zooming and Skyping to keep in touch. Vaccination, virus detection and disinfection technologies are progressing at breakneck speed. Companies are replacing business travel with web meetings, improving efficiencies and finally adopting flexible working. Humans don’t change willingly, nature oftentimes has to coerce us

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