Will we ever get our old lives back? Will our jobs, our homes and the places where we live ever be the same again? What is there for us and our children to look forward to?
''News'' is usually about things that are sudden, unusual or unexpected - once the novelty wears off, things settle back to normal. News about the changes from Covid-19 is different. Many of the changes are slow and less reported because they are gradually creeping upon us. But we should pay more attention because these changes are accumulating, permanent and will change almost every facet of our normal lives forever.
Online retail is closing shops; many office buildings will soon close because of staff working from home; service jobs are changing because of the outsourcing or the off-shoring of many services jobs facilitated by technology.
In addition, changing patterns of where, when and how we work will affect the viability of the smaller businesses that service central business districts, such as cafes, gyms, suppliers and taxis.
Viability will be challenging for hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs, cinemas and theatres in a world of less travel, fewer patrons and increased distancing requirements.
Our towns and cities - especially central business districts and shopping centres - are also changing because of the undermining of the economic model that we use to fund their building, renewal and operation. This will cause severe financial disruptions that will spread from the property sector into banking as well as pension and related investment funds.
The ripples will extend out into the commercial rates systems that are used to fund local authorities who manage our urban centres; it will also affect the viability of the public transport that is the lifeblood of these places. Many of the working parts of traditional town centres will need to be re-evaluated
Our homes will change too because people will make different choices about where they to live, how they work and what their priorities are. These pages have previously explored how much of Main Street has been moved into our living rooms by online shopping, entertainment, services and e-government. All indications are that these changes will persist.
Readers may baulk that these are too many changes; that there is no hope; that ''everything is destroyed''. Everything is certainly changed, but not destroyed.
Society experienced changes of a similar scale and suddenness as recently as the early 20th Century, when the combined forces of urbanisation, industrialisation, nationalism, and universal literacy all changed everything utterly.
For that generation, it was World War I and the Spanish Flu that marked the turning point - the war killed 20m people while flu killed a further 50m in a world that held less than a quarter of today's population.
To illustrate just one example of the scale of change at this time, remember that all societies, everywhere, stopped using horses for the first time in 3,000 years and replaced them with trucks, tractors and cars in a period of less than 10 years. The same era witnessed the disappearance of the systems of jobs as servants. All of these were huge changes - kings fell, jobs were lost, lives were upended and yet this time was immediately followed by ''The Roaring '20s''.
It is easy for an alarmist to name many large events as a ''disaster'' - especially when it involves death and loss. At an individual level, especially as we advance in years, we learn that death and loss, while painful, are also normal.
The newly bereaved are always amazed at how life goes on - seemingly oblivious to their great loss. Bereavement counselling is all about helping people to begin to move forward again, after they have finally accepted their new reality.
Our post-Covid world is our new reality. We need to mourn and accept our losses, but we also will also to move on by planning to deal with our newly changed lives.
Preparing for change is based on defining the desired outcome: ''paint a picture of success before you start planning'' is the standard advice. But who gets to paint the picture? Success means very different things to different people.
Older generations will continue to cleave to financial, career and material success - defined by earnings, new cars and home ownership. Their children and grandchildren occupy a world that, to some, may look more selfish or trivial, where success is defined by experiences, expression, ethics and meaning.
Two forces are at work that will make these changes stick. The online generation's seeming idealistic objectives of a less material world are a perfect match for the aims of business.
Companies will also seek to de-materialise. They will be happy to shed expensive offices, shops and employees as they try to reduce costs, increase flexibility and minimise risk in a volatile world.
It is particularly important in all of this not to mistake changes to the familiar as permanent loss. We will look back on this crisis as a time of change, no more, no less. Whether it is a ''disaster'' depends on whether we respond to changes as a disaster or an opportunity.
Remember that the word ''crisis'' comes from the word for a crossroads - a place of choice where decisions must be made.
We will never get our old lives back because Covid has accelerated new ways of living and working that are irreversibly changing our homes, our towns and our jobs.
All of these forces were present before the virus - it has merely hastened them. While the changes are inevitable, it is up to us whether to view them as opportunities or as losses.
Adapting is going to be complicated because we now live in an increasingly fractured society. There is a generation gap that is rapidly widening to a point where we may find it exceedingly difficult to understand or accept the choices that our children will make.
We are defined by the choices that we make. One option is that we can waste a lot of energy, money and time by trying to resist these inevitable forces in a futile effort to get our old lives back.
The other choice is that we can accept that these changes are here to stay and learn to see the opportunities that they present for better lives.
If history is a reliable guide, then it is likely that the young will accept and adapt while the old will use their money and power to try to resist - but this is not inevitable.
Over the last 10 years, we in Ireland have surprised ourselves on more than one occasion by daring to hope.