a) The building of an international scientific community. People are used only to see growing nationalism and populism in the handling of the corona crisis. But more important is the increasing scientific collaboration world wide. ( https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/world/europe/coronavirus-science-research-cooperation.html) In this collaboration "open data" and "open access" play a crucial role. An important point is the full integration of Chinese science into this community. "One small measure of openness can be found on the servers of medRxiv and bioRxiv, two online archives that share academic research before it has been reviewed and published in journals. The archives have been deluged with coronavirus research from across the globe. Despite the nationalistic tone set by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, Chinese researchers have contributed a significant portion of the coronavirus research available in the archive. " (NYT) Despite the super nationalistic tone set by the American president, US scientists contributed too.
Will we understand that open science is a value per se and underpins any desirable development of humankind? The internationalist, progressive liberals have to push for investment in scientific research in international collaboration.
b) Foolish opposition to online collaboration will loose ground. In my years as third level manager (burocrat) with the FAO, I had a continuous fight with supervisors and the burocratic structure to implement online collaboration within my team. My Leitmotiv is: People should come together, when it is fun or when it is absolutely needed.
There is no reason to force a mother of two, who has to catalogue publications, to come to an office between 9 am and 5 pm, when her real available time for working is between 5 pm and 11 pm. It is stupid to keep a professional, who is leading a project in India and Thailand into a Rome office at Circo Massimo. So it is stupid to keep a programmer in a office, who would be more productive at the beach.
The results of the corona crisis will give us the chance for a blow against many unnecessary commuting and travelling. We should go to a workplace only if physical presence is needed. Scientific conferences are necessary, but they are necessary for the social and informal contacts between scientists. Most of the formal scientific communication, you can do better online. I have the experience that participants in a Webinar are much more concentrated than in face to face event, where half of participants are on their cellphones.
Now development of collaborative online tools should get a boost. 5 G will help.
c) Many of us expected a Pandemic of unknown nature. 7.9 Billion of crowded and frenetically moving human beings are too good a breeding ground for any microbe. We are happy that we got it with a beast that is particularly contagious - so we are forced to do something about it), but that is not particularly lethal -so our failures in handling it will not result automatically in mass killings. (Although I am still afraid about what could happen in Africa...). We should imagine the consequences of getting out of control one of the super lethal super bugs of our hospitals and spreading it through the world... I heard about a fungus that provokes pneumonia too. Fortunately lethality and contagiousness in microbes normally are not going tightly together. Also for a microbe it is a failing evolutionary strategy to infect as many hosts a possible and then to kill them.
But we have to prepare for more. Partly it is basic science, what helps, absolutely international collaborative mechanisms, but: we also need accepted social tracking system to contain the spread of microbes. My friend in Wuhan has now a bar code on her cellphone, which is associated to a green light as she is not infected. Going to the metro, bus or other public gatherings, she has to scan the bar code. If later a person is detected contagious, all bar codes of people from the same environment, will turn orange and the bearers have to quarantine. Frightening? Somewhat, but we need to develop mechanisms and structures, that can withstand contagious diseases by safeguarding as much as possible privacy and freedom of movement.