Nearly every industry can expect complicated change as a result of the global pandemic that has spread a novel coronavirus capable of causing the disease COVID-19 to nearly every country in the world. What kind of changes? It really depends on the specific industry. And of course it’s impossible to estimate every change accurately. But there are a few things we can probably say with near-certainty.
First, expect some sort of COVID-19 trust fund managed by the government for people whose lives have been irrevocably changed. We have unemployment benefits for people who cannot find a job, we have disability benefits for people who cannot work, and we have social security benefits for people who have retired. We’ll have a COVID-19 benefit for certain groups of people who were affected in some way more severely than others. We can’t say exactly what that will entail.
Hundreds of thousands — perhaps even millions — of new lawsuits will result in legal challenges that run all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. Eventual rulings from the highest court in the land will change precedents or inspire hundreds of new laws at the local, state, and federal level.
Businesses will install creative new protections against health scares in the future. Many people will likely sue after they are terminated or laid off due to the coronavirus. Many people will likely sue when their employee forces them to work while sick. Many others will likely sue when they become ill at work. People will be trying to find someone else to blame for the economic impacts of the virus, whether their friends, family, bosses, or government representatives.
We can also expect new pandemic response plans that immediately put certain procedures into effect. We already have a number of these plans, but President Trump generally ignored them. Expect his administration to revise these response plans and take credit for their existence. Some of them will better our response. Some of them will likely be challenged in court.
Congress will fight over which new laws to enact in the coming years whether Trump wins reelection or not. These fights will mostly showcase the increasingly partisan dumpster fires that have been growing hotter for the last decade. Expect more than one bailout plan for big business in the coming months, with near-complete support from Republicans and near-complete opposition from Democrats.
There is a strong possibility that Congress will implement a law banning many coronavirus-related lawsuits in an effort to see the country move on from this crisis sooner rather than later.