|One of the most negative is related to one of the more positive, and that has to do with the plight of the poor. Both in terms of absolute poverty, as well as inequality, this has been bad. We’ve made tremendous progress over the last decades in terms of reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world, a lot of that progress has been set back by the economic fallout of the pandemic. And that’s tragic. In North America, we’re likely to see that inequality trends, which have already been going in the wrong direction, are likely to be exacerbated by this. One of the reasons why is because of the unequal educational opportunities. So in the best of times, elementary and high school kids tend to see what we call a summer learning loss, which is that over the summer months, a lot of what they’ve learned during the school year regresses, both in terms of their mathematical ability and their verbal ability. But unfortunately, that’s bad enough, it’s not equally distributed among the economic spectrum. The richest kids actually see a boost because they go back to a home environment that’s actually quite enriched. School tends to be the equalizer. But when the students go back to their homes, they go back to very different environments, the poorer students go back to the least enriched environments, have the least opportunities for this enrichment, and as a result, they see the steepest declines in their learning. Now, one of the worst things about this is that those inequalities accumulate over the years, which leads ultimately to a substantial achievement gap between the rich and poor, caused predominantly by what happens when they’re out of school, rather than differences when they’re in school. What this pandemic has brought is that on steroids. First of all, the summer period, when students were out of school was much longer, twice as long and it might continue. Furthermore, there was some expectation that students were supposed to learn remotely or at home, or get school taught, those opportunities were not equally distributed as well, due to unequal access to technology or parents having different abilities to homeschool given their work schedules. As a result, we’re likely to see stark inequalities that may last for decades, we’ve already seen some preliminary data in terms of these abilities sliding and sliding at different pitches. If they accumulate, which they likely will with the rest of the summer learning losses, we might see certain students falling behind for the rest of their lives.