Coronavirus updates LIVE: UK government defends controversial aide to Boris Johnson over lockdown breach; Australian death toll stands at 102

Is a post-COVID-19 world going to be vastly different to the one that preceded it? As the initial pandemic panic recedes, and Australia begins to ease restrictions, a better picture is starting to emerge of life on the other side. And while it certainly is a new normal, it is not so radically different from the old.

People’s work lives are a good example. Anyone who can work from home is probably still bunkered down in a spare room or hunched over the dining table, a scenario that some are keen to continue. But the push for more-flexible working arrangements is hardly new ground. While the widespread adoption of hot desking had its share of critics, it was a radical shift towards giving office workers the technology and support to work more flexibly. The pandemic has given that transition a very big push along.

People’s consumer habits have followed a similar pattern. While the move to a cashless society and online shopping has been in train for many years, it is being turbocharged by the pandemic.

On the political front, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a call out for new ideas to bolster economic reform, helping lift Australia out of its pandemic-induced slump. It’s a commendable step in the right direction. But it’s also long overdue.

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