As more and more countries extend their vaccination campaigns, with the US authorities saying that 99.992% of fully inoculated people can resist Covid, the de-escalation process, the supposed return to normality after an 18-month hiatus, is underway.

But what does normality mean? Within a few weeks of the first lockdowns in March 2020, forced to work from home, we quickly learned new habits: few of us had ever tried videoconferencing, and if we had, the call was usually set up for us by the IT department. Now everybody is doing it.

Then there’s the half hour or more we used to spend sitting in a traffic jam to get to the office, and that for many of us is now largely banished to the past. In some sectors of active labor markets such as the United States, the pandemic has led many people to relocate from particularly expensive cities such as San Francisco, Seattle or New York to…

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