Some were easily foreseeable - like travel bans, lockdowns, and economic damage.

Some were made total sense in retrospect but were not an obvious think to think about - Like an increase in domestic violence (and, consequentially, shelters being overwhelmed).

Let's make a list of both the easily foreseeable, and especial the not easily foreseeable, nth order effects from the virus.

If you can add a source or extra details it's good, but the main point is to just mention the possible effects so someone doesn't have to try thinking of all of them on his own.

If you want to say what order effect something is (second order, third order, etc..) that's extra cool.

New Answer
New Comment

2 Answers sorted by



Religious attendance is down already, ideally to zero. What are the long term effects of that?


  • Permanently weaker social ties, especially among the elderly and rural.
    • -> More depression, suicide, addiction
  • Longer time to notice that someone has died and for the body to be discovered (for suicides or otherwise).
  • Families that rely on church assistance go hungry, leading to permanent physical and mental deficits for children.
  • Churches receive fewer donations (both because of lack of physical presence and the recession), some are forced to close.
    • I wanted to make a numerical prediction for this but couldn't find numbers on # of churches over time except for LDS, which has been growing.
  • I expect LDS to make it through this pretty well, possibly even strengthened, because they've led their members to prepare for this and because I expect them to institute social reinforcement over distance.
  • Speed up of the transition to digital services. Gains reduce but do not entirely disappear when social distancing is lifted.
  • Membership takes a permanent hit, faster than counterfactually.



Lots of film and television studios cut their budget for the entire year in addition to delaying filming of on-going programs. End of the golden age of TV?

Start of the golden age of animation?

I'm curious why you don't expect this to bounce back when the pandemic or recession is over?

It's hard to predict how fully or quickly things will bounce back. For this segment, it's easy to believe that closure of theaters and massive changes to the value (and price) of TV advertising will be a spur to re-evaluate the business models of entertainment production, and producers will be cautious in committing too soon. And this fill further slow the recovery of the industry, possibly settling at a different equilibrium than before. This is my general story for long-term effects of the shutdown - each industry is complex and idiosyncratic, but all were in path-dependent equilibria before 2020, and the disruption has shaken things up enough that the resulting steady(-ish) state will be different. My predictions of where those equilibria settle (less human effort into status and mindless/harmful entertainment, more human effort into harder-to-measure values) tend to align with my preferences, so I discount them heavily. I have no clue what'll actually happen, but it'll almost certainly feel normal within a few years.
2 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

I think it's a good idea to babble here (list possible effects even if there's a <10% subjective chance they happen) because if we restrict ourselves to ideas that we're pretty sure will verify, we'll miss most of the good ones.

Yes, that's the spirit i was trying to convey, thanks for clarifying it