This pandemic — expect one every few years — is accelerating America’s transformation. Trends that had been under way for years now pop up. Some changes will pass, but many will remain. The post-coronavirus world will likely be as different as pre- and post-Depression eras. Some of my conjectures:

Consumption. Lockdowns shrunk retail sales, bankrupting venerable but vulnerable chains. Even after stores reopen, many consumers will still be unemployed, their credit already overstretched and unable to buy much. Online shopping grows, hurting both posh and main-street stores in favor of Amazon and Walmart. Big cities thin out as urbanites flee high rents for small-town affordability.

Dining out gets rarer, recalling yesteryear when families dined at home and restaurants were for special occasions. Takeouts ordered online keep some restaurants afloat, but many will close. High meat prices curb consumption. Cars are no longer so wonderful if you have nowhere to go. With less industry and driving, carbon emissions drop. Air travel diminishes. Books purchased online replace library visits.

Health Care. Telehealth becomes standard, bypassing waits in doctors’ offices. I recently consulted my cardiologist by taking my vitals at home, phoning them in and then talking to him by iPhone. He decided I looked okay. (On two meals a day, I’ve lost weight.) Eventually, I’ll come in for an echocardiogram. Walmart delivered three months of my meds by FedEx.

Pressure for a major consolidation of national health insurance grows. Obamacare’s mix of public and private plans falters as millions lose their jobs and health coverage. Could the Supreme Court — which will soon hear arguments over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — throw it out? Amid illness and high unemployment in an election year? Even Republican justices will fear overturning Obamacare.

Economy. U.S. manufacturing jobs shrink, in the short term from coronavirus but in the long term from automation and offshoring. They do not rebound. Unpayable debts at all levels — federal, state, business and consumer — portend financial meltdowns. Oil production, a global glut for years, declines permanently. At $30 a barrel, few make money from oil. U.S. oil-fracking needs $60 a barrel; frackers go broke. Good news: Russia suffers, too. Tax cuts boost Wall Street, but volatility whipsaws investors.

Working-class incomes, growing slowly since the 1970s, decline. Businesses and jobs vanish, leaving millions with scant savings or safety nets. As housing becomes unaffordable, already substantial homelessness increases. Andrew Yang’s proposed $1,000 a month for all adults drew scoffs, but income maintenance is no longer so far-fetched. Congress shovels trillions into short-term subsidies that do nothing for long-term unemployment.

Egalitarianism rises anew. Resentment of concentrated wealth moves beyond the 2011 Occupy protests. The rich, once celebrated, are now suspect and circumspect. Workers become more open to unionization. Economists discover that markets are not self-correcting and can collapse. The Fed turns from interest-rate tinkering to bailing out capitalism. Free-market arguments retreat before “too big to fail” arguments. Some talk of a national industrial strategy.

Politics. Partisan rage overwhelms calm reasoning and empirical reality. Everything is to be doubted; nothing can be convincingly proven. Democrats fear COVID-19; Republicans hate lockdowns. Armed protesters chill democratic deliberation. Advanced surveillance technology raises fears of misuse. Forming groups, long an American strength, declines. Online contacts can’t substitute for face-to-face, but social media hypes intolerance and tribal hatreds.

Education. Parental burdens, especially strained by homeschooling, increase, pointing to lower birth rates. Without full-time schools, parents cannot return to work. Many colleges in long-term budgetary straits will fold, especially small, private and rural ones. Large public urban universities — cheaper and closer to home and jobs — stay open, but they are hurting, too. Falloff in college enrollment, especially by males, continues. Students dislike online courses, which require fewer instructors. Part-time adjuncts replace tenure-track hires. Education level deepens class divisions between those who can work remotely and those who can’t.

Federalism. Federal departments and agencies, long starved of funds and hated by Trump as a “deep state,” may never recover, leaving the U.S. structurally weak as challenges mount. We quarrel over how dangerous COVID-19 is and who must take charge. Who has emergency powers, states or the federal government? Or neither? The epidemic forces desperate states to depend on federal subsidies.

International. U.S. nationalism and protectionism dismantle international cooperation. The rules-based trading order boosted by the World Trade Organization, whose chief has just resigned, recedes. The U.S. and EU scowl at each other. Chinese-U.S. relations, inflamed over trade, turn acrimonious over coronavirus. China touts its authoritarianism and generosity; Washington offers nothing, and respect for the U.S. falls. China seizes world leadership from a self-marginalized America.

Are we watching America deteriorate? The coronavirus outbreak exposed long-building weaknesses. The biggest: a dysfunctional administration that mistrusts and purges its own civil servants. The worst legacy may be a generation of Americans able to believe nothing.