If you haven't seen this documentary, it's very good. PBS had an American Experience called Influenza 1918, and this was released in 1998. They bring it out on occasions like this. What's good about this doc is that they interview a handful of the survivors who were children at the time this was happening, and they had first-hand accounts of how they were affected.I've been watching and reading about the flu pandemic of 1918. It's like the ultimate footnote of history. Mentioned with a death total and walk right passed it. Nevermind that WWI kills less people and is seen as a massive event.
But I see how it's true. This odd artificial event happens, does it's damage and we recover.
The worst epidemic in American history killed over 600,000 Americans during World War I.
A few things different about the 1918 pandemic were, at the time, we were very distracted by World War I, and that dominated the news coverage. There was a lot of censorship in the news media at the time, and back then it was only by paper. Radio didn't exist, Films were still silent movies and the war had slowed production of them anyway. And the event was FAST--it was a rapidly spreading pandemic that peaked in October 1918.I think the Coronavirus will actually have lasting impact. The 1918 flu was unusual, in part because so few people travelled, and impacted a world that was still relatively rural for many people. With the highly mobile and urbanised world we live in, and whole generations (including myself) who have never really known hardship or fear, then the impact on our collective psyche will be massive.
"Lockdowns" (I use that in quotes since it's not like a lockdown where the military comes in and enforces curfews) wouldn't be sustainable long term--this is all to flatten the curve.So that's it. Lockdown.
This won't last, at least in practice. How can it be enforced?
Society, as it stands right now, is finished. People may not want to get political, which is fine, but fundamentally there is no recovery for our current economics from this.
I certainly wouldn't say "Society is finished". People used to say "it will never be the same" after 9/11 and while a few things have changed, life went on. I think the economy will be weak for a time, but then recover in a manner.
What I think the biggest effect will be is that this is sort of a fire or storm that goes through an aging forest and gets rid of the weaker or older plants. Things like you mention, comic stores and game stores, were already on a sort of life support as more and more people went online and bought from massive retail chains, and the comic book itself is an outdated periodical that has only survived due to the direct market. What I suspect will happen is you'll see businesses close that were weaker to begin with economically. It's not pleasant of course, I hate to see any business go under, but I think this could happen with any economic contraction.