Updating the View of the Post-Pandemic Future

Seven months ago, Nextbigfuture looked at the post pandemic world future as the pandemic was starting. We are now about halfway through the global pandemic. The World Bank’s baseline projection is for a 5.2% global economic contraction. China and several other Asian countries will have positive GDP growth in 2020. The US and many other developed countries had strong economic rebounds in the third quarter. In April, it looked like there could be one to three years of economic depression but it appears the main economic hit was for 2-6 months.

Underreported Statistics

Videos from Russia point to an actual death toll far higher than the 33,000 official COVID deaths. Statistics indicate there have been 130,000 COVID deaths in Russia so far. Russia had 160,000-170,000 excess deaths from April to November. 80% of these excess fatalities were likely Covid-19 deaths.

Many other countries in the Middle East are also vastly underreporting their COVID-19 deaths.

Stronger Medicine and Accelerated Cures

In April, Nextbigfuture predicted that the massive effort to develop vaccines for COVID-19 would boost and accelerate the development of cancer vaccines. Streamlined regulatory approvals will speed up the approval of all new medical treatments.

In November, the first COVID-19 vaccines have phase 3 results of 90-95% effectiveness and emergency authorizations are imminent. Pfizer should be applying for emergency use authorization tomorrow.

A clinical trial at the University of Arizona Health Sciences is showing good results for a personalized cancer vaccine in combination with the immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab. Five of the 10 patients experienced a clinical response to the personalized cancer vaccine, and two patients had a complete response after the treatment (no detectable disease present).

Companies that Will Dominate the Future are Showing Strength During the Pandemic

In April, Nextbigfuture noted that companies that thrived in the Great Depression of the 1930s dominated for four decades after the depression. We predicted that this will be the story during and after the Pandemic.

Tesla’s share is up 333% in the last seven months. Tesla is growing car sales in 2020 by over 40% compared to sales in 2019.

Zoom has been leading the way to the video calling and remote working future.

The IEA expects oil demand to decrease by 8.8 mb/d in 2020 (versus 8.4 mb/d in last month’s Report) and to rise by 5.8 mb/d in 2021 (versus 5.5 mb/d last month). Vaccines are unlikely to significantly boost demand until well into next year.

Electric cars, trucks and buses will flatten the growth in oil demand around 2025-2030. Electrified transportation will start a declining demand for oil in the 2030s.

World in 2020 to 2040

The World has had a reasonable recovery in the third quarter and with the vaccines deployment starting in December and significantly deployed in first half of 2021 there will be substantial normalcy in the second half of 2021.

It has been thirty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has been 75 years since World War 2. Nextbigfuture believes the nuclear arsenals and other geopolitical conditions will continue a future where the battles between major developed powers in minor.

Self-driving electric trucks will have lower ton-mile costs than trains. This will be a boost to future economic growth.

SpaceX and the fleet of fully reusable Superheavy Starships will have transformed satellite and cargo transportation by 2030 and then intercontinental passenger flights in the 2030s.

China and the USA will remain nearly equal in terms of overall GDP through 2030 and China should be about 30% ahead by 2040.
The EU will fall behind in 2021 with Brexit and then fade to about half the GDP of the USA by 2040.
India and ASEAN will each be around the GDP level of Japan around 2030.
India and ASEAN will be approaching the GDP level of the EU around 2040.

SOURCES – IEA, University of Arizona, CNN, Google Finance
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

49 thoughts on “Updating the View of the Post-Pandemic Future”

  1. I do not exaggerate at all what do I say that is not factual please explain?
    Mr Trump has directly accused the Democrats of Massive Fraud millions of votes worth, even though case after case is thrown out he continues to accuse and attempts to get Electors appointed directly to him by state legislators .. Either he is right in which case the democrats are indeed stealing the Election or he is lying and he is attempting to overturn the will of the people, thats how `reality` works.
    If you can`t see either voter rigging or attempting to get state electors to overturn a result as anti-democratic, then I suggest you get off your planet and join me on earth.. where if you bother to read real experts at academic level you will find the same analysis .. or perhaps I should go to Parler or Sean Hanity for a objective analysis of the situation.

  2. Glancing superficially at the post WWII history, the responses seem to be all over the place.
    USA, Germany and Japan (the least and near worst affected respectively) responded with a workaholic and technical breakthrough driven boom.
    Meanwhile Britain sunk into a generation long depression.
    And China went insane and decided to replicate the mass deaths and devastation to themselves again and again.
    Other places did various combinations of the above.

  3. neither is good and both are almost owned by big money that has bent them completely out of wack .. The Democrats are struggling with `woke culture`, however Biden is within the bounds of normality for democracy in leaders.
    However The Republicans have Trump who appears to be a psychopathic / Narcissist (I have read four books on him now) and authoritarian unfit for office and its hard to support Democracy when a large percentage of your base supports ….Qanon a far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against US President Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal. QAnon also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the "Storm", when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested.
    This kind of thinking supports action and force is right mentality after all you can`t let Satan win the vote now can you,?

  4. From the: Is it Hyperbole? – file:
    "…In our estimation, and with standard preference parameters, the value of the ability to end the pandemic is worth 5-15% of total wealth. This value rises substantially when there is uncertainty about the frequency and duration of pandemics. Agents place almost as much value on the ability to resolve the uncertainty as they do on the value of the cure itself…"

  5. Yes and thats NOW this is not going anywhere US politics appear to have entered a death spiral we will see in time if it pulls up or crashes.

  6. OK so you agree with me then, the USA has a non zero risk of political collapse.. my original post ONLY say that one party is lying it does not say which one

  7. It's funny how some people believe one party is better than the other. Both of them will do anything to get to power.
    BLM was a tool used to put hurt trump, nothing else. Go on google trends and search, you can see the spike in 2016 right before the election, only this time they went full power. All the sudden no one cares about black people.
    Media controls you and is biased to the highest bidder, who's paying them? Big corporations are. What's the corporation's interest? money and all kind of benefits from the party they support, once they win. It has been this way since society exists.

  8. My concern/ interest/ fascination is in the long-term personal effects and society-wide norms that will become entrenched. Everyone that I have ever met born before 1985 remembers exactly what they were doing at the moment of first seeing video footage of 9/11 – the personal memory 'scar' that created is profound and lasting. But when something is an ongoing 'stressor' or other form of weighty, existential threat; frequently compounded and -re-ignited over months, that is a special kind of wound. I am trying to imagine my great-gram's stories of WW2 London bombing lock-downs and how the new reality of survival and trying to live with the 'idea' that any day could be 'your number'. As in sorry about Ol' Jim – his number came up. What becomes of such people – Spiritless recluse? Risk-tolerant adrenaline-junkie? Despondent work-aholic? Misfit star wars figurine collector (kidding, that's me). Ho-hum of 2040 – ".. so, never forget that pandemic of 2020-21, huh?.."

  9. PRAY that Trump is unable to prove any significant electoral fraud.

    If even one Democrat is proven to have given Biden a bunch of votes or thrown away a large number of Trump votes, Trump's supporters are going to believe 'the whole election was stolen'. They'll take to the streets demanding the electoral vote be declared invalid.

    The Dems will be outraged at 'this attempt to steal the election' and take to the streets as well.

    Bad things ensue.

  10. The real coward is the one who can't look truth in the eye, and has to have his comfort in make believe, not the one who is soberly rolling with the punches.

    Where are all those healthy people? Almost 40% obese. When all is said and done, it is likely we will have lost 450,000-500,000 this year to Covid-19. But we probably won't know that until we do the math and see the excess deaths. The Spanish flu killed 675,000 people in the US, but in 2 years. No one thought the Spanish flu was trivial. No one that wasn't deluding themselves.

  11. I think the most telling point about the nuclear apocalypse scare is the fiction that was considered brilliant and terrifying at the time, and these days is just kind of weird.

    And yes, I'm talking about Dr Strangelove. From the title to the end sequence the whole thing doesn't make sense to anyone who just missed the cold war scares.

  12. woah. Always wondered what that widespread fear of nuclear apocalypse felt in the 50s/60s when kids learned their duck/cover, people were building backyard – Sears-catalog-order fallout shelters which Owners casually indicated were not to be 'shared' with the neighbours, and constant media 'attention' to the gruesome possible scenarios and speculative 'ignition' points. Just watched that old UK cartoon on 'unreasonable optimism' – When the Wind Blows.

  13. I can't wait to get the vaccine so I can… err… increase my socialising by maybe an hour or two a week on average.

    And save myself the 30 seconds a day on masks.

  14. I dont know exactly what a US civil war would look like though I have tried to find serious opinion on what it would be, but its hard to judge .. Guerrilla warfare would seem where it would go, this is low chance however but the US is in deep trouble its politics close to fracture, this is not normal … I live the UK we shout and argue our Conservatives (republicans) v Labour (Democrat) BUT its nothing like US politics, nor is Japan or Germany or France .. The US is looking more and more politically fractured its not normal and its bloody dangerous

  15. Do note I say non zero risk of civil war, in other words very low .. However you can find plenty of serious academic work on the current state of the USA and many experts are deeply worried about current tread lines and the USA is (probably) on track to become a failed state, unless it can pull itself together

  16. So, its going to be a guerrilla warfare? I don't see lines and formations of men in uniform in this "war". There might a few stand up battles for the marching morons on each side though.

    I think it is going to come down to the poor and stupid vs the rich and smart. I don't like the odds for the poor and stupid.

  17. On Civil war
    Sixty-one percent of Americans are worried that the U.S. could be on the verge of another Civil War, while 52% say they’ve already started stockpiling food and other essential in anticipation of social unrest, according to a new national poll. https://www.thewellnews.com/opinion-polls/poll-finds-majority-of-americans-worried-about-another-civil-war/

    On whom fighting whom
    Americans have bought nearly 17m guns so far in 2020, more than in any other single year, according to estimates from a firearms analytics company…. the USA has groups from white nationalists to BLM BUT the divide would be Republicans v Democrats .. If you can not agree on elections then you drop back on where all nations go .. As Wordsworth put it " the good old rule Sufficeth them, the simple plan,That they should take who have the power,  And they should keep who can. "https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/29/coronavirus-pandemic-americans-gun-sales

    The USA is approaching failed state status
    If the United States isn't a failed state in 2020, it is rapidly on its way toward becoming one. Economists, historians and public health experts I spoke to would generally agree with that sentence, even if they might disagree on some of the details or the severity of the crisis.

    And my original post says in the next 10 years .. The USA either agrees elections are binding or it goes

  18. Yeah, there is going to be some unrest. Civil war though? How exactly will that work? Who will be fighting who?

    I think a more likely outcome would be that the idiots and their leaders that shoot first and otherwise make pests of themselves will be assassinated or have "accidents". Do you think that the CIA and NSA bag men work for Trump?

  19. With 10% of the economy immediately missing (services)(no matter what the current UI number says – 8%? BS.) – will this lack of demand, customer, colleague, supply-line, social outlet — cause other cascading failures? And what of, likely, permanently depressed transit and commercial office space. Will that be liquidated in the large-scale? Before covid, society was very efficient and self-sustaining – but extended un-/part-employment and severed networks lead to huge upheavals and uncertainty. The current levels of infection are not the worst thing to be experienced over the next few years -> "…Nov. 20 – 1,582,323 test results reported over the last 24 hours. There were 192,805 positive tests. Over 23,000 US deaths have been reported so far in November…" — economic system disassociation will be nearly as bad. That being said, out of most G7 countries, we are very individualistic and resourceful — whether that will translate into the 'last mile' of the V-recovery and still push Great Innovation remains to be seen — as most current awesomeness was on the books over the last 12 -24+ months (and thus inevitable) (space, EV, chip tech, exoplanet tech…). Ho-hum — thriving of the fittest , i suppose.

  20. At a loss.
    Companies and people must have been holding back their productivity, wealth, and initiative over the last decades to still be surviving (prospering?) in such a disassociated and insecure state of affairs. Many sources indicate that many G7 countries' populations are sitting on a huge hoard of cash/ savings, unsure of how and when to spend. Where did this wealth come from? In the good times, most people are 2 – 3 cheques from insolvency and with less than 6 months of liquid savings/ investments to function on. Productivity in STEM industries is hugely dependent upon constant and intense interaction and feedback from peers, expensive infrastructure, and clients, typically only effective in a well-laid out office/ lab with regular schedules and optimized networks. Working with the same focus at home with screeching pets, kids, and spouses –and some 5-year-old HP laptop – unlikely. Point: this type of efficiency, creativity, and effectiveness is obviously not in huge demand (survival) at the moment and is likely severely deteriorated — and continually harder to keep coordinated and focussed. Of course, many companies have eschewed the spirit of the lockdown/ restrictions and have kept office hours going with minimal nod to current guidelines — at their own risk, i suppose. The Real Point: when support gives out and we get back to real life, much will be missing. How resilient will all the small businesses, restaurants, venues, etc., be at reinvention/resurrection?

  21. Wow, exaggerating much? The Trump administration had launched several court challenges, which they have every right to do. The courts will rule on those. Some votes may be ruled invalid, but most will likely stand. Most likely come January, Biden will be President.

    One party is anti democratic? What planet are you on? both parties participated in the election. Both embrace democracy. Neither one calls for an end to constitutional govt. Whatever it is you are smoking, I strongly recommend stopping immediately.

  22. It looks exactly what the USA looks like at this very moment today .. either Mr Trump is correct and Joe Biden has committed massive fraud and the Democratic party is colluding OR Mr Trump is attempting to set up a dictatorship by falsely accusing and the Republican party is complicit by not challenging him.
    The USA only has two major parties and one of them is so anti democratic its attempting to destroy the very system of democracy in the US .. this is real and its happening today in the USA, if democracy fails then the USA will ceases to exist in the form we know it and it has a non zero chance of full blown civil war.

  23. No need to panic Mindbreaker. Relax. Calm down. Get a hold of yourself. The world isn't ending. And COVID isn't as bad as you think it is or want it to be. I know that psychologically you have this deep need to think that COVID is the 21st century version of the Black Death, but it's not. It's a minor mortality blip in the grand scheme of history. If you're healthy and take care of yourself your odds to getting the disease are very low. Dying even lower. Relax bud, you're going to be okay.


  24. Over 2.8 million people die in the US every year. And this is pre-COVID. Check the CDC stats. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes, morbid obesity, etc. COVID deaths, especially those among healthy people. are a drop in the bucket compared to normal mortality rates.

  25. Cruises were and are particularly obliterated. Cruise liners are being sold pennies on the dollar: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23829-here-s-what-an-entire-cruise-fleet-sold-for-at-auction.html
    $1,710,000 for the Astor a 650 passenger cruise liner. Scrap.

    And only one was over $10 million. If you can hang onto it for a year or two, very big profit, I would think. Require crew and passengers to be vaccinated, and you will get lots of passengers, I would think. Probably at least a grand a person, and 1,258 passengers? Sure, wages, fuel, dock fees, but how long to pay off that boat? A year? Two of actually using it?

  26. The population of 50+ year-olds in the U.S. is 117.17 million. https://www.statista.com/statistics/241488/population-of-the-us-by-sex-and-age/
    The other figure was from 2014.
    However, the point is still valid. 
    103 million Americans have high blood pressure
    102 million have high cholesterol.
    100 million, or almost everyone who is obese, has
    fatty liver disease. 
    37 million have kidney disease…and most don't know it either. 
    34.2 million have diabetes
    18.2 million have coronary artery disease.

    People live with these "comorbidities" for decades and decades. And many of the victims surely would have as well.

     39% of those 65 and older take at least 5 prescription drugs. 

    Overall, an estimated 299,028 excess deaths occurred from late January through October 3, 2020 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6942e2.htm
    By definition, this is people who otherwise would not have died without something changing.
    This strongly suggests an under-count as there were only around 200,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19 at that time.
    For comparison: heart disease killed 655,381 and cancer killed 599,274 in 2019. Covid will be the third highest killer for 2020. Probably already double the current #3: Accidents: 167,127 in 2019.
    Covid-19 currently officially: 259,645 but probably 359,000+

  27. With Many of the jobs who moved home staying there, the onslaught of transportation and industry electrification and renewed growth of ride sharing, oil has already picked.

  28. After the vaccine(s) arrive and start getting distributed, I guess many of us will be wary of going out and resume living as before. But many will go overboard and fill every public place and vacation resort there is.

    A small peak of traveling and leisure, before a big one after the vaccines become widespread and proven.

    But I won't discount further surprises from SARS COV 2 (like a new strain we have no vaccine against). That bugger is nasty.

    My hunch is public life and gatherings will be back to normal in a couple years, ready for the roaring 20s of the 21th century.

  29. You can no longer sanely defend those numbers as they are demonstrably counterfactual. Actual deaths from Covid in New Jersey is 1,892/1,000,000 currently. That means 0.189% of the population of the State has died of Covid. And they clearly have not reached heard immunity as they had 4,755 new cases yesterday. Not enough for it to slow down. In fact, that 4,755 is the highest single day positive total thus far. Deaths are nowhere near where they were earlier, but that is due to better treatment. Still, there is a lag of 14-16 days before we know how many of those 4,755 yesterday will die. It takes about 8 days on average to die and another 6-8 days of paper pushing for it to be reported. Most of those bureaucrats do not work weekends so that can add a couple days. If I use 7 day average of new cases Nov 4 (15 days ago) I get 1,913 new cases. 7-day moving average for deaths today in N.J. is 27 deaths. ~1.4%

    These "comorbidities" are conditions virtually everyone over 60 has. Is your blood pressure over 130? Then you have high blood pressure. That is your #1 comorbidity right there: Hypertension.103 million Americans with high blood pressure: https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/05/01/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-says
    The #3 comorbidity is high cholesterol AKA hyperlipidemia. 102 million Americans with that: https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/cholesterol_education_month.htm
    There are 108.7 million folks age 50-plus in U.S. Possible overlap..hmm?

  30. The USA has a non zero risk of a political implosion that would alter these scenarios, either now or in the next 10 years its democracy has become bent to the point of breaking … China became a basket case under Mao and took decades to correct, if the USA fails it will not have in place a functioning autocratic (economically functioning) system that will power its current economic trajectory.

  31. The ifr of covid-19 is 0.13% making it on par with a bad flu season. The average age of people dying from coronavirus is over 75. 90%+ of those who have died from coronavirus have has at least 2 co-morbidities.

    Stop the panic porn already.

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