BOSTON – The pandemic has caused major changes in employment, transportation, childcare and myriad other areas. On Beacon Hill, policymakers are trying to decide how the state should prepare for a post-pandemic world.
On Tuesday, members of the Senate’s newly created Committee on Reimagining Massachusetts Post-Pandemic Resiliency huddled for the first time – virtually– to discuss how the state government can respond to the profound changes.
Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, who chairs the committee, said the panel will initially look at the impact on housing and technology.
The committee heard from several analysts who addressed the hurdles of planning for a post-pandemic world.
Evan Horowitz, executive director of the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tuft’s University, said the challenge for policymakers is planning “for a world in flux.”
“The new normal is going to be different from the old normal,” he told the panel. “We don’t yet know the extent or nature of those differences. And that’s a challenge for crafting sound, responsible public policy.”
Horowitz said the pandemic has further exposed a “digital divide” between wealthy and low-income communities that has affected schooling and work.