• The 1918 flu pandemic was followed by what's now known as the "roaring 20s"
  • An expert predicts that a similar trend could follow the post-COVID-19 world
  • He says people have been "immature" in handling the pandemic

2020 is coming to a close and it looks like we will still be carrying some of our struggles to the coming year. Yet there is still room for hope. In a new book, an epidemiologist predicts how the following years could be a repeat of a post-pandemic "roaring 20s."

The COVID-19 pandemic threw a curveball at us, but it's not the first time that humanity had to face a pandemic of this scale. And after the 1918 flu pandemic and World War I, the 1920s were marked by economic growth, mass migration to cities, and the birth of "mass culture" in the United States and Europe with people having extra money to spend, History explained.

According to the new book, titled "Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live" by Yale professor and social epidemiologist Nicholas Christakis, such a movement could also happen in a post-COVID-19 world.

"During epidemics you get increases in religiosity, people become more abstentious, they save money, they get risk averse and we're seeing all of that now just as we have for hundreds of years during epidemics," Christakis told The Guardian. "In 2024, all of those [pandemic trends] will be reversed."

At that time, people will likely seek out activities to make up for all the time that was lost during the pandemic. This could include "extensive" social interactions, "reverse of religiosity," "sexual licentiousness" and "liberal spending," he told the outlet.

Get Together/Party
Pictured: Representative image of a get-together with friends. Pixabay

A "roaring 20s" in a post-pandemic world has been discussed before, with experts taking note of the possibilities that could come out of this global experience.

But why 2024? The vaccines will likely help put a stop to the pandemic, but now they are only beginning to be rolled out. So it's likely that vaccine distribution and social distancing measures will persist through 2021, while economies will try to recover until 2023, Christakis explained.

The author also noted that people have been rather "immature" in handling the pandemic.

"As a society we have been very immature," Christakis told The Guardian. "Immature, and typical as well, we could have done better."

Apart from that, society has also been riddled with poor leadership, misinformation, denial and divisiveness, which he said are "typical" during a pandemic.

Although there are still a lot of unknowns about the virus, modern science has allowed the fast development of potentially life-saving vaccines. And while experts are learning about the efficacy of the vaccines, the responsibility for containing the pandemic lies not just on leaders, but on everyone, the author said.

"Our world has changed, there's a new deadly pathogen that is circulating, we're not the first people that have had to face this threat, and a lot will be asked of us," Christakis said. "And we're just going to have to be grown up about it."

So will another "roaring 20s" be waiting for us at the end of this pandemic? History has a tendency to repeat itself, and perhaps there is still time for societies to learn from this year's mistakes and handle the pandemic better in the coming year.