Wishful Thinking, The New Normal, Non-Fiction Version


Last week was a fictional look at the near future [The New Normal, Fiction Fragment]. Today, is non-fiction. What will the world look like in 1, 2 , 5 years? Interesting opportunity. How often do we get a chance to do world-building IRL?

I’m going with the happy forecast. Five minutes of reading/watching the news gives us the unhappy forecast all too easily. I’m also skipping over political change. I’ll leave politics to folks who enjoy yelling at each other, uh, the cut and thrust of heated debate.

Will people en masse take this as a chance to change for the better, or will we all revert to our worst selves? Sometimes I think there will be an entirely new era as a result. Other times, I think people never change. Depends on the day … and the volume of the existential scream.

On to the predictions. An even dozen for your entertainment.

1) We will remember when grocery store clerks were essential. We will realize that they continue to be.

2) We will remember how much we relied on art to get us through the day: books, music, videos. We will fund the arts accordingly.

3) Take-out will continue. Even the fanciest restaurants will need have to have 2 or 3 dishes that can go in a box. Food in your pajamas will be a thing.

4) Masks. It’s going to be a lot more socially acceptable to wear masks, especially in big cities. Not universal, but way more common in grocery stores, and so on. Ubiquitous on public transport such as subways & airplanes. Companies will create masks in trendy colors and patterns. At least one couture house will have snazzy masques in their Spring fashion line.

5) We will see a lot more cleaning. A lot more awareness of germ transmission.

6) People and companies will be judged on how they responded [Bel Joeor: Future boarding questions]. Companies who stood with their workers will be rewarded with progress, innovation, and flexibilty. Facebook streams from February will come back to haunt people.

Virtual World
We will still gather. We are human. We still need to sit around the fire together. However, there will be a lot more virtual life.

7) A high-quality virtual tour will be an expected component of every new museum exhibit, art show, and so on.

8) Worldcon 2020, CoNZealand, is virtual. Science fiction conventions will continue to expand online. Who better than science fiction/fantasy folks to lead the way on this? Many will attend in person to enjoy vendors, cosplay, friends, and so on. A whole new market will open up for virtual attendees who do not want to fly around the world to attend a convention.

9) People will have discovered the joys of less commuting [Raincoast Rider: Changes I Might Keep]. Business owners will have discovered the cost savings and employee satisfaction.

10) Online classes will go mainstream as a supplement to traditional education.

Horse World
11) Virtual lessons will open opportunities to train more consistently if your instructor lives far away, or if your regular trainer is out of town, e.g. in Florida for the winter. While remote rides won’t replace face-to-face, they will supplement them. A company will create a unified video/audio, teacher/rider system. Live-videoing of riders will become a hire-able skill.

12) Virtual clinics with Big Name Riders. A weekend with with Ms./Mr. X will be a whole lot cheaper if the talent doesn’t have to be flown and fed and put up in a hotel. Not the same, but at a fraction of the price, close enough.

What good things do you see coming out of this?

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

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