Life after Covid-19 will look completely different from before the pandemic, we all know that, and now he, the philanthropist and founder of Microsoft – and the main character in conspiracy theories, have said the same.
Five years ago, Bill Gates he stepped on the TED stage and practically predicted the current pandemic and the pathetic response of America and the world. Due to that discussion, he is now considered one of the most prophetic voices out there about the threat of new diseases – at the same time, of course, he is considered the one who caused the pandemic by conspiratorial voices.
However, he has gained authority over the study of epidemics, and that means that when he gives his opinion on what life will look like after Covid-19, we should all sit down and remember.
This is exactly what we get, if we listen the first podcast of the founder of Microsoft.
Together with actor Rashida Jones, Gates discussed with Anthony Fauci the progress towards a vaccine, the steps we should all take now and his vision of life after Covid. Here are Gates’ main predictions.
1. Remote meetings will be normalized
Before the pandemic, you probably would have worried, a customer might have felt neglected if you had chosen to talk to him through a video conference, rather than in person. However, after Covid, the calculation will take other directions, according to Gates.
Just as World War II brought women into the job market and many of them stayed there, the idea of ’Do I have to go there physically?’ it won’t sound so suspicious anymore. Now we are allowed, it is justified to ask that “, he says.
This will be true for both work meetings and other interactions that have so far taken place in person.
“The idea of learning or consulting a doctor who relies only on a screen with something like Zoom or Microsoft Teams will change dramatically,” predicts Gates.
2. The software will improve dramatically
Not only will the idea of distance dating seem more natural, but Gates also predicts that the tools to do so will soon be much better than the ones we are struggling with now.
“The software was a little weird when it all started, but now people are using it and they will be surprised at how fast it will innovate,” he predicts.
3. Companies can divide offices by rotation
If we do more and more distance activities, that means we will have to enter the office less, which will have significant effects. The first of these will be felt in the way companies make real estate decisions.
“I think people will go to the office less. You can even share offices with a company that has activities on different days than when your employees come, ”Gates suggests.
4. We will choose to live in different places
The knock-on effects of remote work will not end here. They will reshape our communities, Gates believes. City centers will be less important, communities will be more important and we can even rethink the design of our homes.
“In big cities like Seattle and San Francisco, even a well-paid person spends a lot of money on rent,” he said.
“Without the anchors of an office you have to visit every day, staying in such expensive places becomes less attractive and a larger house in a smaller community with less traffic becomes a more preferred alternative.”
5. You will socialize less at work and more in your community
Gates also notices one last knock-on effect of these changes in the way we work – the way we socialize will also change.
You may be consuming less social energy at work, he predicts, and more with loved ones in your local community.
“I think that ultimately, the social contact you have at work can decrease and, thus, your desire to get more social contact in your community, with friends at night, could increase. This is because, if we do a lot of distance activities, our desire to socialize, our energy to socialize after we stop working, will be a bit bigger. You can move the balance there somehow, ”Gates tells Jones.
6. Things will not return to normal for a long time
If the last prediction sounds appealing, the next one, which Gates offers in partnership with the top infectious disease expert, Fauci, is less cheerful.
Even after a vaccine largely eliminates Covid from the United States and the world, things will not return to normal until the whole world overcomes the disease.
“There is a phase where we will have a very low number in the United States, but it will remain in other parts of the world, so the risk could return. I think a lot of people will keep their behavior quite conservative, especially if they associate with older people whose risk of being very sick is quite high, ”he says.
Normalcy will return when not only one state has the pandemic under control, but also the rest of the world.
7. The next pandemic will not be as bad
If it’s annoying to hear that you’re unlikely to attend concerts with tens of thousands of other fans next summer, Gates has one last positive prediction to cheer you up.
While this pandemic has been a nightmare, he is hopeful that with the next appearance of a killer pathogen, the world will do much better in keeping the pathogen under control.
“The main reason it will have a less destructive impact is that we will have had exercise.”
“We would have played the game of disease, and almost every country will respond, as did South Korea or Australia, where people were tested very quickly and quarantined, and our testing tools will be much better. We will not be so naive a second time “, he concludes.
All these predictions together build an optimistic picture of a future where work will be more efficient, communities will be closer, and preparedness for disease will be greater.
But until that positive moment in the future, we still have a lot to endure. The full conversation between Gates, Fauci and Jones, can be consulted here, for tips on how we can withstand the hard months ahead.