I don’t think we should assume there’ll be a post-COVID-19 era, any more than there’s a post-influenza era, or a post-tuberculosis era, or a post-AIDS era.”
That’s the assessment of historian Niall Ferguson, the main guest of this week’s World Vs Virus podcast.
“There are a whole bunch of diseases that we simply learn to live with as a species, because we can’t eradicate them and we can’t successfully vaccinate against them. It’s better at this point to imagine a world with COVID-19, rather than a world after it,” he says.
In the past week, I’ve had several conversations on the topic of “the world after Covid-19”. My immediate response has been: “Why do you use the word ‘after’? Why not ‘with’?" https://t.co/Oig5q9fkpQ
— Niall Ferguson (@nfergus) May 10, 2020
And the author of The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World has a stark prediction for the financial recovery in the post-COVID – or perhaps rather ‘with-COVID’ – world.
“We are now in the biggest economic shock since the Great Depression, and it’s moving faster. The big question is: can we get out of it equally quickly?
“If you look at the forecasts that investment banks produce – and indeed governments – you get these wonderful V-shape projections suggesting that we’ll be back to where we were at the end of 2019 by some point in 2021. If you believe that, I’ll sell you a bridge … because there’s no way this is going to be a V-shaped recovery.”
This article was originally published in the World Economic Forum.
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