- Do the cards suggest when the coronavirus crisis might end? If so, when?
I see the world grappling with this coronavirus for the long term, the same way it does other maladies such as polio, measles, flu, herpes, hepatitis, HIV, etc. We just have to live with it now. As far as the crisis phase of the situation, I see August of 2021 as a milestone time when there is a dramatic diminishment.
- What do they say about when there might be a vaccine?
The cards are not conclusive on this. They portray a scene reflecting that we stay in place and tame our instincts to roam and socialize—at least for another year.
Every year when I visit my doctor they ask if I want the latest flu vaccine. From my layman’s understanding, the flu evolves, so they tailor the best vaccine they can to that year’s version of the virus. Due to the constant evolution of the virus the vaccine isn’t completely guaranteed, but can provide some measure of protection. I see the vaccine that emerges for COVID-19 as being like that. The vaccine will be formulated by a partnership of scientists from different countries and not really optimal until a couple of years from now.
- Do they suggest anything else about what might follow the crisis? Like a global recession or stock market crash?
A global recession is indicated, much deeper than that of 2008. But I don’t see a stock market crash. People are resourceful. They will rebound. But we should think long term. The world didn’t overcome the trauma of WWII until the 50s and 60s. It took many years. We should mentally prepare to look to 2025 before we experience the type of carefree, prosperous times we had pre-COVID19.
The way airport screenings became dramatically enhanced after 9/11, some of the inspection and protection measures employed now will become a routine part of life—even when we go about our daily business.
- Can they tell us anything about what New York is going to look like in the future?
The iconography of New York will never change. New Yorkers are resilient and we will continue to hear their unique stories. We will mingle together again. But not one industry will be the same again. Building codes, zoning, permits and regulations will all be framed around COVID-19 the way were after hurricane Sandy. Public spaces and streets will be redesigned so we will move about more on bikes and foot. Public transit will come back eventually but with a number of redesigns. There will be more short-form outdoor entertainment.
The handshake will go for a number of years but come back later like a fashion trend.
Now that everyone has had a taste of incarceration, I see prison reform, with more efforts toward rehabilitation programs. Cash will be rare, most things paid for without touch via the wave of a phone or card.
- Businesswise, have you seen an uptick in clients seeking your services during the two-month lockdown? If so, what sorts of questions have they been asking the cards?
I’ve been consistently busy for the last ten years but as when the financial crisis of 2008 hit, I've seen an uptick in clients. Nothing has changed about my clients’ questions. They still ask about their kids, spouses, lovers and jobs, often as if COVID-19 didn’t exist.