History suggests that some of the changes we are experiencing are unlikely to be permanent: the longer-term consequences of both 9/11 in the US and the global financial crisis, for example, were relatively modest and concentrated in particular sectors such as airline travel and the financial services industry – even though many people predicted at the time that these events would radically change social behaviour. This supports the argument that once Covid-19 is mostly under control (perhaps some time in 2021), a large part of our daily lives will return to normal.

However, pandemics have had longer-lasting effects on society. This was certainly evident after the Spanish Flu in 1918/1919, which significantly affected the health-care system and partially contributed to the baby boom in the 1920s...

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