Yale professor and social epidemiologist Dr. Nicholas Christakis is looking to the past to predict how our world will change, post-pandemic.
In his new book, Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live, Dr. Christakis reflects on how previous generations have dealt with plagues.
"One of the arguments in the book is that what's happening to us may seem to so many people to be alien and unnatural, but plagues are not new to our species – they're just new to us," Dr. Christakis told The Guardian.
Plagues are deadly and history-altering. But they end.
We already have successful vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. When enough vaccinations are distributed, society will return to a new normal. What will that look like?
Dr. Christakis says that when pandemics end, there's often a period of "extensive social interactions."
The epidemiologist predicts America will see a second 'roaring 20s' age, similar to just after the 1918 flu pandemic.
Dr. Christakis predicts we'll need time to distribute the vaccine and recover from the socioeconomic devastation of the past year.
"In 2024, all of those [pandemic trends] will be reversed," he told The Guardian. "People will relentlessly seek out social interactions." Dr. Christakis predicts that could include "sexual licentiousness" and liberal spending.
So, if you're dreaming of a world where it's safe to pack theaters, concerts, and sporting events, one where you can hug and kiss everyone you know… Dr. Christakis predicts that time is coming.
Some doctors predict we'll see a baby boom in 2021, thanks to all the lockdowns and staying at home we took part in. An even larger boom could be on the horizon, when we're finally living outside of the shadow of COVID-19.
We need to do our best to keep ourselves and our families safe so we can make it to the new 'roaring 20s.'