COVID-19—and the ensuing economic fallout—exposed society’s vast inequalities. Current stimulus plans and ongoing debates revolve around restoring society to its pre-COVID-19 state, a singular focus driven by a prevalent status quo bias. We propose that policymakers should adopt a more ambitious goal: to take advantage of the change momentum of COVID-19 to reduce social inequalities in order to build society’s resilience for the next time disaster strikes. We suggest that this redesign will require a focus on the multidimensional nature of social and economic inequalities, and a shift toward strengthening communities rather than a sole focus on individual households and businesses. This crisis should be seen as a unique window for restructuring society by creating new norms and ideals rather than returning to the pre-COVID-19 status quo.
- status quo bias