Post-Pandemica — What is the Legacy of our Last Three Years?

Grey Swan Guild
13 min readOct 17, 2022


Grey Swan Guild’s Weathervane IV — Exploring the lasting impacts, timing, scenarios and implications of our global uninvited guest — COVID.

The best illuminating foresight emanates from multidimensional hindsight, and polished by prescient insight. We are harnessing this trifecta of ‘sights to put an exclamation point on our life-altering and global pandemic. It all comes together in a report we are producing for December’22 entitled Post-Pandemica.

Four Post-Pandemica Actions:

Please feel welcome to reach out to the study primary authors Sean Moffitt or Dave de Bakker. In addition, please consider:

Is the Pandemic Really Over?

It would appear based on comments drawn across all continents over the last month, clinically and societally, the pandemic is still in this liminal state of “not as bad as our darkest days” but not as symptom-free as 2018:

  • Europe: “Although we are not where we were one year ago, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over,” the WHO’s Europe director, Hans Kluge.
  • North America: “The pandemic is not over. There are 57,000 reported cases per day of COVID-19 and that may be underestimated by a factor of five to 10 times. There are 3,700 hospitalizations and 400 plus deaths per day. It’s the sixth most common cause of death and more than Alzheimer’s, diabetes, influenza/pneumonia and kidney disease. If this is over, we lost. I think this was an off-the-cuff gaffe, which Biden is famous for,” Robert Murphy, Northwestern University.
  • Africa: “The virus is still circulating and with the low rates of vaccination, the pandemic is still very much with us here on the continent,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • South America: “The sensation I have is we are forgetting what happened, and we are now facing new outbreaks such as monkeypox without having learned enough from the pandemic. It is fundamental for us to face what the pandemic has caused and still causes,” Gonzalo Vecina Neto, Brazilian physician, and former head of Brazil’s Health Regulatory Agency.
  • Asia: “The Chinese authorities are very concerned about a mass infection. Their concern is not groundless. But in most Asian countries and regions, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, the death rate of COVID-19 is already lower than seasonal influenza. It is impossible to eliminate the coronavirus because it keeps mutating and the ultimate goal of the mutation is to coexist with humans,” Jin Dongyan, University of Hong Kong virus expert.
  • Oceania: “It does not in any way suggest that the pandemic is finished. We will almost certainly see future peaks of the virus into the future, as we have seen earlier in this year. However, at the moment, we have very low rates of cases, hospitalisations, intensive care admissions, aged-care outbreaks and various other measures that we have been following very closely,” Paul Kelly, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer.

Clinicians and scientists may agree that COVID is not something we will eradicate, but we will need to learn how to live alongside of it. Some of our Post-Pandemica report will deal with the magnitude of its shadow, and a lot of our report will deal with beyond-the-medical forensics and analyses. What has advanced & loosened up in our society? What has snapped back to normal again? What has tweaked in an unpredictable way? What has twisted into some new phenomenon?

COVID’s History and Previous Weathervanes:

Depending on which smoking gun virology report you read, the coronavirus global pandemic started in late 2019 and was in full bloom globally by the time the 2nd quarter of 2020 had rolled around. Whereas many bugs are here today, gone tomorrow annoyance, this one became our world’s biggest ever virus.

Our Grey Swan Guild originated and was galvanized because of this pandemic. Although we now have analyzed many non-COVID related issues, wild cards and Grey Swans, our core research continues to come back to this decade’s most likely biggest shock - COVID. We have tracked, poked and prodded this bear for the last three years at various phases of the outbreak. Here’s a summary of our seminal works:

May’20 — Weathervane I “Making Sene of the Pandemic” — we dealt with the crisis directly, both what was in front of our face at the time and what might have been looming, trying to peer behind the curtain of where COVID was going and what that meant for all of us.

Late ’20 — Weathervane II “Pandemic Problems & Breakdowns” — we looked at what short and long term fissures the pandemic created among our populations, relationships, institutions, industries, beliefs, values and outlooks.

Mid’21 — Weathervane III “Pandemic Breakthroughs & Solutions” — with temporary receding rates of infection, we allowed ourselves to look at potential solutions, areas of improvement, better societal norms and personal habits as a result of our global time of reappraisal.

It’s time we shifted our focus perhaps one last time on this pandemic. What is its legacy and lasting impact? Sometimes in the worst shocks, it takes some time, separation, space and additional context to wrap our minds around something and its true effect on us. Whether it’s wars, terrorism, regime changes, acts of god, environmental disasters, economic crises, Grey Swans of Black Swans, they all have their respective cadences and candlewicks for being able to objectively stand back and realize their full or muted effects. The time is now for COVID.

In what likely may be our last full analysis on the pandemic, our intrepid crew is putting an exclamation point on COVID, drawing upon our previous three waves of work and leaping into the 2 year, 10 year and 25 year futures to postulate the lessons learned and the legacy created from the 2020–2022 COVID age, with real implications for decision makers. It’s time for Weathervane IV.

Late’22/Early’23 — Weathervane IV “Post-Pandemica — Lasting Outcomes, Lessons Learned and Future Scenarios”

The Grey Swan Guild and now its official research & intelligence venture Weathervanes will explore the current, short and long term future impacts on critical issues and industries.

Post-Pandemica’s Moving Parts

a) The SURVEY:

We invite you to take our Weathervanes IV survey — a 5–10 minute survey that explores eight pivotal questions (see below for our questions) that preoccupy our minds. Take the survey here: .

By answering our questions you will be automatically registered for our teaser special event and given access to toplines of our final report.

Take our Post-Pandemica survey:


Over the course of four separate days, we are diving deep into the world of post-pandemics, next normals, great resets and future never-as-usuals across 12 key themes:

  • Tuesday, November 1st, 10am ET/2pm UTC — Theme: Economics/Wealth
  • Tuesday, November 1st, 12pm ET/4pm UTC — Theme: Retail/Commerce
  • Tuesday, November 1st, 2pm ET/6pm UTC — Theme — Health/Pandemics
  • Wednesday, November 2nd, 10am ET/2pm UTC — Theme: Work/Careers
  • Wednesday November 2nd, 12pm ET/4pm UTC — Theme : Mental Health/Stress
  • Wednesday, November 2nd , 2pm ET/6pm UTC — Theme: Cities/Living
  • Friday, November 4th, 10am ET/2pm UTC — Theme: Technology/Digital
  • Friday, November 4th, 12pm ET/4pm UTC — Theme : Relationships/Family
  • Friday, November 4th, 2pm ET/6pm UTC — Theme: Education/Learning
  • Thursday, November 10th, 10am ET/2pm UTC — Theme: Organizations/Business Models
  • Thursday, November 10th, 12pm ET/4pm UTC — Theme: Futures/Foresights/Wild Cards
  • Thursday, November 10th, 2pm ET/6pm UTC — Theme: Complexity/Sensemaking/Meaning

Sign up for one of our expert panels if you’d like to dive deep:

12 Different Expert Panels — Peeling the Onion of Post-Pandemic Realities, Complexities, Scenarios, Meanings, Lessons and Forecasts:


We plan on publishing a comprehensive report on our findings December 6th, 2022, ironically just about exactly three years after the coronavirus started to appear.

Why: Every decade’s biggest shock should have a wide, objective and future-savvy lens on what did it all mean — we haven’t seen that analysis yet, our Weathervanes venture and Grey Swan Guild has the talent to produce it. So why not?

What: A 150 page, evidenced-backed distillation of hindsight, insight and foresight about meta-aspects and specific angle to the pandemic. The report will be for purchase, and collaborators on the report will receive the full toplines of our thoughts.

When: Report will be available to the public December 6th, 2022.

Who: Sean Moffitt and Dave de Bakker are co-authors (with healthy support from others) and will be pulling the report together. We expect 70+ people to participate in our expert panels and to conduct 12+ expert interviews.

Where: The report will be made available online for purchase at our website page:

How: We are using a combination of primary and secondary research conducted across these last three years that synthesizes the key headlines, ranked impacts, future scenarios, deeper meanings and fuller analysis across and inside our top 12 areas of post-pandemic legacies.

How Many: We expect 300+ people to have taken our survey and to have sifted through the same amount of articles, research and academic reports.

The Ask: As mentioned above, join us in one of four ways:

d) The EVENTs

We will be hosting a number of events over late 2022 and early 2023 behind Post-Pandemica.

Our key launch event will be December 1st, a few days in advance of publication of the full report. pre-register here:

Report authors Sean Moffitt and Dave de Bakker will present topline conclusions across all pandemic impacts and key headlines within twelve deep dive areas with some invited global expert guests.

Notes from Post Pandemica’s Report Authors:

“Every decade has its own defining headline. What happens during (the shock) and what happens after (the shockwave), needs a long periscope and telescope to fully comprehend it. Look at how World War II continues to have its effects geopolitically to this day. See how the seventy-year Cold War still has its echoes in the current Russia-Ukraine conflict. Witness the ripple effects of a few centuries use of coal and fossil fuel on the world’s current climate challenges and intensifying weather anomalies.

For good and for bad, the pandemic can’t be viewed in a test tube by itself. It loosened many nuts and bolts on society’s moped, across a multitude of dimensions, most of which aren’t even remotely close to the immediate public risks and individual health considerations. Will the wheels fall off our Earth vehicle or can we fix it, make it better, faster and more resilient to wear and tear? Our report explores these questions.

As we leak out into three-years-plus past the initial shocks of COVID, we thought it was high time someone conducted the full objective and balanced analyses on: what really happened here, what does it all mean and how will we work, live and play differently in the future. We have seen various helpful studies on COVID but they either seem so narrow, just dealing with a specific facet of the pandemic; or so time-bound, they can only function as time capsules of the moment, not something that could stand up to ten years (dare we even say 25 years) of scrutiny and relevance. We thought why not us.

Post-Pandemic Weathervane is an exploration for all that has been or will continue to be impacted by the shadow of the pandemic. Thus, most of you will find it relevant and interesting. Come join us as we navigate and sort through its complexity”- Sean Moffitt, Post-Pandemica Co-Author.

“The pandemic has been an intense phenomenon that affected everyone on the globe. It has been a drive of solidarity but at the same time exposed the increased inequalities between nations and between citizens.

The pandemic has made it clear to many what is most valuable in life, shown us what is an existential need versus comfort.

For all our progress and increased wealth, the things we took for granted seem not to be as evidently present. And paradoxically, our systems that were key to bring this progress look like one of the reasons we have collectively suffered as much as we did.

Health care and medicine are optimised for predictable demand, incapable of scaling up rapidly and our supply chains and just-in-time management, built on a premise of a stable market and global trade, are unable to cater to needs locally when borders are closed.

More than ever before in history we seem to have the most means to learn and adapt, but human behaviour hasn’t changed much since the rise of agriculture. We could learn a lot about the fault lines of our current societal structures but it seems all too easy to keep things the way they are” — Dave de Bakker, Post-Pandemica Co-Author.

Our Expert Survey — 8 Key Questions Explored

Consider some of the key questions (below) we are asking you to share your thoughts about:

Exploration Area #1— Optimism/Pessimism

We have asked this same question at the start of the pandemic, at the height of a future wave, during a cessation of virus spread and now three years later — how has our mindset changed throughout is an intriguing longitudinal view of the virus spread, our collective fragility and resilience and what were the top-of-mind concerns at the time.

Exploration Area #2 — Stage of The Pandemic

People still have differences of opinion on where we are currently pandemic-wise. Are we out of it? Waiting for its return? or perennially challenged by it? And beyond the virus trajectory, how serious are the short term industry and long term societal effects?

Exploration Area #3 — Legacy of the Pandemic

Sieve through everything that has been commented on, talked and written about and observed, what did this pandemic mean for the world, our countries, our communities, our companies, our families and us? Set it in appropriate context, is this generation-defining or a short term bubble?

Exploration Area #4 — Shadow of Impacts

We are considering a range of seventy-five (75) different impacts across a variety of behavioral, business, economic, environmental, health, political, societal, and technological questions. Which is higher on your radar?

Exploration Area #5 — Industry Impact

With some more time to consider after the initial shocks, which industries and sub-sectors have been changed the most for the long term by this pandemic?

Exploration Area #6 — Amplified, Snapping back, Tweaked or Twisted

We’re not sure we are still making our own bread and hoarding as much anti-bacterial soap as we were back in early 2020 (although we could be wrong, you will let us know). What big and small habits have changed and which one of these four trajectories have they taken?

Exploration Area #7 — Buy, Hold or Sell

Consider yourselves investors in pandemic trends, which trends are you buying for the long term or selling off as pandemic-fuelled novelty?

Exploration #8 — Movie/Book Metaphor, Lessons :Learned and Personal Actions Changed

Flex your creativity and introspective minds, how will we frame this pandemic for future generations and what has changed inside you?

Reminder — Take The Survey

We value your opinion, please join us in the odyssey:

About Us:

Weathervanes : Primary & Custom Research and Analysis … for People Operating Slightly Ahead of Our Time

Our marketplaces workplaces, cultures, societies and planet are overheated, complicated, accelerated and out-of-control … we don’t need what’s already popular, representative or expected, we need to know what’s hidden, what’s beyond superficial and what’s next.​

Weathervanes Research & Intelligence (powered by the Grey Swan Guild) — Going Deeper on Today’s and Tomorrow’s Most Relevant Subject Matter, Probabilities, Possibilities and Wild Cards with our Guild panel of Global Sensemakers.​

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