Shalom Charles Malka*
Very few of us could have predicted the long-term trends that have been created anew, or accelerated by the pandemic, and that promised to linger for years to come. Consider the impact of three such developments the shift to work from home, remote learning, and the change in consumer behavior. It is likely that no one foresaw the massive migration, still unfolding, that has been taking place during the last three years as a consequence of the shift to work from home. Remote work meant the end of being compelled to reside closer to a workplace; it enabled many to relocate to other desired parts of the country. Similarly, very few predicted the negative effects that the shift to remote learning would have on student performance, and on the financial health of many institutions of higher learning. It is estimated that universities’ debt burden exceeded $300 billion. A drop in enrollment coupled with a drop in room-and-board revenue from students who preferred remote learning, and a shrinking pool of foreign students accounted for the institutions’ losses. And, with the change in consumer’s behavior that is still evolving, the future of the Mall as a premier American icon is in danger.