We are still very early into The Plague of 2020 here in the United States (if you are an out of country reader, welcome and your mileage may vary). I have already seem pundits "predicting" how this will change how we are are and how we do things. Since my opinion is as unimportant as any of theirs, I thought I would share some initial thoughts on how I see things changing as a result of all of this.
1) My best guess for how long this initial "lock down" lasts is through the month of April. Someone made the observation that the current infection rate and death rate were two weeks prior in the making, so it would seem logical that we are still two to four weeks out from a peak and whatever "lock down" mode we are in making an impact.
2) Telecommuting is about to become a lot more of the way the world works. Forced to do this, more and more companies are discovering that they can get work done with employees working remotely. They save on travel expenses and office costs. While it may not go back to these levels once the "all clear" is given, neither will it go back to what it was before. Office investment trusts, take note.
3) If you had a robot or automated process, they were likely not nearly as impacted by the requirement to close as other businesses. Additionally, robots and automation do not have the potential to get Covid-19 (yes, I know, they have other issues and need maintenance). Look for interest in automation to ramp up following this.
4) I learned that 10% of the global GDP is dependent on tourism, which is dropping to essentially zero right now (let that sink in). Beyond the incredible strain and number of failures globally of anything dependent on tourism (hotels, airlines, restaurants, ground transportation, tour companies, attractions, and shops catering to them), a longer economic shutdown means that there will be an even longer time for tourism to recover - if ever. I predict there may at some point there may an initial rush as people bolt for the freedom of travel (at all), but longer term I see tourism seen more and more as a high-risk high-cost event (many of these will also be affected by more of a telecommuting model). One caveat: Local or even in country tourism may recover. You can always get home if you drive; not so much if you fly.
5) Our definition of essential and non-essential jobs will change dramatically - as it is already. How we look at certain functionalities will change forever. I think will also spill over into new previously un-imagined jobs and entire career fields drying up .
6) Large scale gatherings will probably never be the same as they were. Finance again plays a part here - I suspect many people will think the last thing they should do with their money is spend it on sporting events or movies or concerts - but if the potential for this continues throughout the year, few people will want to risk becoming infected. And few companies or industries will want the liability and bad publicity.
7) I have no prediction on politics (as you know, we do not handle those here) but I do think there will be an impact from this. The one impact I think I can see and safely speak on is that for some states, the question of secession will become more relevant. The ability and impact of a capitol city to destroy local economies will not be forgotten.
It is fun to speculate, anyway. In a month, we will see where we are.