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The Economic Perspective: “Will Social Distancing Lead to Virtualization?”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program asks if social distancing will lead to virtualization.  Mike, even after the coronavirus has passed, many think social distancing will continue, either mandated or voluntarily. But, of course, we live in a technological society.   So, do you or others see a technological adaptation that goes beyond social distancing?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • Crises often lead to innovations
  • Especially if the virus returns, in a limited way, in the fall, people will still be wary of proximity to others
  • But we still want contact
  • This may be where virtualization comes in
  • Your virtual image – with all sensory perceptions -if projected to other locations
  • Already have some versions
  • Can substitute for “actually being there”
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.