If you are still staying at home, unemployed, and reading this, then your head may already be filled with so many negative thoughts. When can I safely go back to work? How am I going to find another job that will pay the bills during this pandemic and economic recession/depression? How am I going to feed myself? Are my family and friends okay?
But hey, look on the positive side! The COVID-19 pandemic has already brought numerous changes to the global society.
Public Health Awareness
Asian countries, despite being so close to China, seem to have managed the pandemic fairly well. People tend to look out for each other and don't want to get each other sick. Wearing face masks in Asia isn't unusual, even before the pandemic. What makes this pandemic different is the scale. This pandemic has forced Western nations to go into lock-downs and increase public health awareness among the populace.
During the pandemic's early days, there was a supply shortage in supermarkets and retail stores. Totally unprepared people went to the market all at once and waited in long lines, and they all wanted to stockpile on supplies - including toilet paper, food and guns. Well, this just shows to you that it is important to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse (aka natural/man-made disaster).
If you are not prepared to survive through a disaster, then you can always prepare yourself to die and rest in peace forever.
Hopefully, this pandemic has brought enough awareness for environmental protection. If we don't protect the environment, then the world's oceans will become de-populated, leading to human starvation (as many humans depend on fishing as an occupation), the land will become de-forested for agriculture and human development, finishing the mass extinction that we are currently in, the air will be filled with pollution and greenhouse gases, warming the planet up, and massive pandemics.
Universal Basic Income and Social Welfare
As soon as the state governments mandated lock-downs, employers held onto employees on the payroll for little/no pay or laid off them. Without a paycheck or a job, people struggled to pay for the bills and rent/mortgage. Tens of millions of people filed for unemployment benefits. The US unemployment benefits are not equipped to handle a massive pandemic, with such a huge unemployment rate. What the USA needs is better social welfare for its citizens, perhaps experimenting with Universal Basic Income.
If every single legal adult citizen of the USA receives $2,500 a month ($30,000 a year) as a Universal Basic Income check funded by a robot tax or a wealth tax, then that can raise the minimum standard of living. The poor average Joe may be able to afford the basic necessities, and middle-class and rich may have more assets to re-start the economy. The UBI may just be temporary, only to serve the needs in the post-pandemic world; when the economy recovers to pre-pandemic conditions, the UBI may be removed.