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What Comes after COVID?

Experts Weigh-in on What the Post-COVID World Will Look Like

Hand holding 2021 crystal ball


It’s not a stretch to say COVID-19 has changed everything, from the way we work and learn, to how we access health care or cast ballots. We asked our resident experts at UML to weigh in on what we can expect in a post-pandemic world. They shared their perspective on a range of topics, from shopping to health care, from concert-going to the housing market. Here’s what they have to say: 
An illustration of a person ordering gifts on their smartphone Photo by Getty Images

Retailing: A Mixed Bag

“E-commerce is with us no matter what, but I don’t think it’s going to be the end of the physical store,” says Ying Huang, associate professor of marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation in the Manning School of Business.

Hand holding cell phone with female doctor on it

Telemedicine is Here to Stay

In the wake of the COVID-10 pandemic, medical practices will look at ways to incorporate videoconferencing “telehealth” visits more broadly, says Nursing Chair and Prof. Heidi Fantasia.

Having children wear headphones and pinning the teacher's image to the screen can help children focus when learning online. Photo by Adobe Stock

Bigger Role for Classroom Tech

The pandemic has exposed the deep digital divide among students and school districts – and also shown how to remedy it in future, says Asst. Prof. of Education Hsien-Yuan (Mark) Hsu. 

a person drops a mail-in ballot into a mailbox Photo by Getty Images

Voters Will Want to Mail It In

Joshua Dyck, director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, says that the massive increase in mail-in ballots – at least partly attributable to the pandemic – has forever changed the voting landscape in this country. 
The contents of Abby Lipski's go bag Photo by Abigail Lipski

Supply Chain Reaction: Flexibility

Nichalin Summerfield, an assistant professor of operations and information systems in the Manning School of Business, says consumer goods manufacturers could add a little more flexibility in their production lines to meet future spikes in demand for products.
A student works on a laptop Photo by Adrien Bisson

IT Challenge: Better Bandwidth

Computer Science Prof. Benyuan Liu says in the wake of the pandemic, service providers will need to continually monitor infrastructure performance and capacity needs and design a flexible and robust solution for today’s highly dynamic demand for bandwidth.

Drug Makers to Shift Sources

Assoc. Prof. Carl Lawton of the Department of Chemical Engineering expects changes to drug development and the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process as a result of the pandemic.

Dominik Hyppolite on piano and Alec Anand on guitar share a lighter moment during rehearsal

Music Biz Should Hit High Note

When the pandemic is over and events can be safely held again, concert-going is likely to be a different experience, says Prof. Alan Williams, coordinator of UML’s Music Business program.

Aerial shot of houses in neighborhood

Housing Bubble Ready to Burst?

Demand for homes has actually gone up, along with prices, a phenomenon propelled by two things, says Research Prof. David Turcotte: the desire to get out of the city and into the suburbs, and low interest rates.