Life, Work

The thought experiment post I never wrote: Last October’s prediction of a future pandemic!

Cafe Sophistry 2 (or 3) | I wasn't using my studio at Nostra… | Flickr

Happy weekend, peeps! My last post was my first go at a Savings Ninja ‘thought experiment’ (the Covid-19 edition), but I’ve been following this series for a while, as I love entertaining possibilities – possibly a hallmark of the FI personality (hmm, perhaps the basis of a future post!). Anyway, a while back in late October / early November and almost certainly while I was tag-teaming with hubby at a soft play centre, I started writing notes that would be the basis of a post I never wrote…

I was attempting the following thought experiment, posted by Savings Ninja

I recently read a statistic that 85% of the jobs there will be in 2030 have not yet been created. What do you think these jobs are, and which ones will no longer exist? What does this mean for education? What will offices look like in 11 years? Will people continue to commute to a physical office or will remote work and digital nomadism take over? Finally, how do you think this will affect the overall global economic balance?

Savings Ninja, ‘The Future of Work’, 15th Oct 2019

A few days ago I was going through my phone and found these notes, which kind of predicted a health pandemic! I must add, I didn’t stay within the realm of work – not sure if these note-form points were the basis of a more work-related response or if I was taking the original ‘experiment’ as inspiration for a different kind of post.

Just to add, I’ve resisted the temptation to edit, except to add links (and captions) that had been on my mind at the time. I can’t claim credit either that they are all my own ideas, as you’ll see…

“In 10 years’ time

A third of jobs as we currently know them will be gone to AI, the working classes will suffer most. Many jobs will still require humans even if they have bot assistance. For example, teaching, hairdressing, nursing, because we in essence haven’t evolved for the last thousand of years. [I had intended to share this link where you can check how at risk your own job is to automation.]

My job is in the small circle near the top: Reassuring or will it change now in the post-COVID-19 landscape?

Life expectancy will remain largely the same, except for the richest. There will be a new tier above super rich. Mental disorder rates will be at an all time high. Cancer survival rates will be much higher for many cancers, but we will die from dementia, diabetes, falls and loneliness more than ever.

The current average disability free life expectancy (the lower scatterplot) is only ‘reliably’ above state pension age for those living in the least (top 5%?) socially deprived areas – scary stuff, as the gap between rich and poor will continue to widen!

We will still be in the aftermath of Brexit, economically, politically and societally. No side will be satisfied with the outcome and new parties will develop out of this. The UK will look at life as pre and post Brexit era.

We will have been in a recession or are deep in it. Technology will hasten lay offs.

The big four banks will have reduced slightly. The big supermarkets too.

There will be some new health scare. It’ll seemingly come from no where and spread very fast across the globe. A pandemic.

Therapy bots and healthcare bots will be a thing.” 

[This last point reflects a post I wrote in September on the shocking cost of old age and how I wanted to address it to maintain quality of life for as long as possible which I believe we have a very strong defence mechanisms not to think about.]

Say hi to Nadine, a personal healthcare assistant robot? – I wonder if she can self-hand sanitise?


So, woah, while I definitely didn’t predict the seismic shifts that SN did (I don’t think our thinking changes that fast as we are not wired up for that), I did forecast some kind of pandemic! I guess I didn’t expect it to come so soon, haha, but I imagine there will be future viral pandemics too. I sometimes follow the Effective Altriusm initiative (which I’d love to be involved with in another life!) and although I can’t find the article now, I think health pandemics came up as a research priority under ‘catastrophic risks’ at some point over the last years. It struck a chord with me.

I wonder now if rather than society viewing life pre and post Brexit, it’ll now be pre- and post-coronavirus? A bit like flying pre and post 9/11, but more on an everyday social interaction level. Will an economic recession be coming our way or is this just a blip? Will tchnology hasten lay-offs as I predicted if there was a recession??!

While Savings Ninja previously wrote about how to do a degree for free or very cheaply (I’m now also thinking of the original thought experiment wording re education and working from home), the current lockdown goes to show me how much most of our students need the contact and structure of face-to-face learning.

Re therapy bots: Interestingly, I was asked to review a grant application recently on the development of a chat bot to improve social outcomes in teenagers with autism. I’m seeing studies coming out trialing depression apps too.

You may feel there is a sense of doom and gloom here in those notes, yet I’m a cautious optimist at heart. (Cautious as in not to take things for granted or expect things to always be improving.) Those seeking financial independence through intensive saving and investing, frugalism and resourcefulness, and conscious living, career selection and an adaptive mindset, will be well placed… indeed optimally placed to weather any storms ahead.

What are your work-related and other predictions for 10 years’ time?

(Note: Credit to for the top photo)

7 thoughts on “The thought experiment post I never wrote: Last October’s prediction of a future pandemic!”

  1. Wow, amazing that you wrote about the pandemic back then – shame you didn’t publish this so you could say ‘Told you!’ πŸ˜‰

    I think things will seen as pre/post coronavirus, rather than pre/post Brexit as the former affects the whole world and has already caused so many deaths (and will continue to do so). Brexit will be a side-note in comparison to the rest of the world.

    I couldn’t hazard a guess as to what things would be like in 10 years’ time although in hindsight with the current situation, I guess more people will be working from home and companies may be less inclined to have huge expensive offices.


    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Weenie. Yeah, I seem to have a growing collection of part written ‘posts’ and no date stamping to prove!

      I’d tend to agree it’ll be pre/post coronavirus. It’s hard to think how Brexit will figure into things now. But it will rear its head… :/

      Hope you got lucky with your free share!! This will be one of my next posts! I’m the proud owner of a share portfolio now. πŸ™‚


      1. Around the time when you signed up to Freetrade, I received free shares in Rightmove and Edinburgh Trust so one of those is from your sign up – thanks! πŸ™‚ Hope you got a good one, looking forward to seeing what you got…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh great, well, mine was the higher priced one, obvs πŸ˜€ , though there’s not much in it! Hopefully undervalued currently. You’ll have to count how much your freebie shares are worth by the time they no longer offer this incentive (if ever)! I bet it’ll have amounted to quite an impressive little fund. πŸ™‚ You can read about my free share in my latest post! My free share price was in a very similar ballpark, but I’m happy with it, thanks.


    1. Hey, no worries, I didn’t really expect an add as I wrote this so late!

      Haha, so you don’t fancy a massage fron our Nadia?! What about the version with 7 fingers per hand for efficient hair washing?

      The rich and powerful ARE in ways similar to God. Not morally but they will on average keep going for a long time. 100 will be a norm.


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