On March 17 my brother Mark commented on Facebook.
Ministers are saying we’re “at war” and Johnson is doing his Churchill impression. So let’s all remember that, at the end of WW2, people didn’t want to return to the old ways – they chucked out Churchill and that was the start of the NHS, the welfare state, a building programme of council houses, the nationalisation of industries, improved education and a general sense that a better future was possible. Just saying.
He makes an important point. YLE has run articles claiming that Finland will return to a new normal in which many things will have permanently changed. One of them says that the current “huge upsurge in telecommuting may lead to significant changes in working life, impacting the whole of society”.
The article quotes Anu Järvensivu, who researches working life at Helsinki’s Humak University of Applied Sciences, as saying
We are on the brink of major changes. These changes could become evident in both transport systems and in homes. A widespread increase in the level of telecommuting is the kind of factor that may change society an awful lot.
I do not believe, however, that we will go back to exactly the same situation again
I suspect that the longer the process of quarantine, social isolation and working from home goes on the greater the likelihood that Anu Järvensivu’s predictions will prove the first timid stages of much larger changes of the sort Mark alludes to.