Melinda Gates on our new normal after the coronavirus: ‘Our psyches are going to be permanently changed’

Melinda Gates

  • Melinda Gates spoke to Business Insider about the coronavirus and what changes the world will see because of it.
  • “Our psyches are going to be permanently changed,” Gates told Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell.
  • We’re also learning to do more things online, from taking meetings to taking care of each other, Gates said.
  • Read the full interview with Gates here.

The coronavirus pandemic will change parts of our lives forever, Melinda Gates told Business Insider in an interview.

“I definitely think there are going to be things that are permanently changed,” Gates told Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell. “Our psyches are going to be permanently changed.”

Gates, who cofounded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has supported global health initiatives and has experiences with other pandemics, like the ebola outbreak.

She said that our mindsets will change as we grow to understand the impact of living in an interconnected world.

“I hope we change to realize that we’re a global community,” Gates said. That mindset will help the world plan for more epidemics in the future, she said.

“We need to plan for disease. We are a global community,” she said. “People travel. We’ve just learned that New York mostly got infected from people coming back from Europe. We have to plan for these things as a global community in the future.”

The coronavirus has also impacted the way we work and live, and has shown new ways to get things done, Gates said.

“We are learning some things about how to do more meetings online,” she said. “We’re learning how to take care of each other online. People are reaching out to the elderly in their homes and doing video calls and sending emails or dropping a meal off.”

As for when the world could potentially return to normal? “Nobody really knows the answer to that. It really is when we get a vaccine at scale,” which could take around 18 months, Gates said.

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