There is something liberating about irreversibility. Certainty can cause some unease at the beginning, but as one gets to understand and accept what is going on, it can even provide comfort and a respite from having to busy one’s brain with strategy, creating an opening to focus on tactics instead. Having no alternative is also a relief, especially if the only way forward is at the same time the only right option. The necessity to choose once again and deal with new complex bifurcations may come as a shock, and the impossibility to keep following the beaten trail may be frightening. However, it is also an opportunity to take a different path instead of staying on the one that possibly ends in an impasse.
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic occurred during one of the most lasting and overall quite stable periods of universal peace. In fact, there have been no major wars in 75 years. It is for this reason that some tend to compare the pandemic’s impact with the ravages of the last global confl ict. However, while wars are caused by people, this is not the case for the pandemic, which makes it impossible to inscribe its consequences into the matrix of interstate power relations.
Almost two years have passed since this strange virus turned into a global pandemic, and so much has been written on this subject, that delving into it one more time may seem unnecessary, considering that even the Valdai Discussion Club has already published two reports in which we tried to assess the ongoing developments and even look into the future, even if we presented our vision as a utopia, but why not?
We opted for a utopia due to the forward-looking nature of this concept. It can be argued that the return of the future is one of the key consequences of the pandemic. This future can take multiple paths, the events can unfold under various scenarios and bring about a great variety of wide-ranging outcomes.
 See: Oleg Barabanov, Timofei Bordachev, Yaroslav Lissovolik, Fyodor Lukyanov, Andrey Sushentsov, Ivan Timofeev Staying Sane in a Crumbling World. Valdai Club Report. URL: https://valdaiclub.com/a/reports/stayingsane-in-a-crumbling-world/; Oleg Barabanov, Timofei Bordachev, Yaroslav Lissovolik, Fyodor Lukyanov, Andrey Sushentsov, Ivan Timofeev History, To Be Continued: The Utopia of a Diverse World. Valdai Club Annual Report. URL: https://valdaiclub.com/a/reports/history-to-be-continued-the-utopia-of-a-diverse/