We can often see the future more clearly by carefully scrutinizing and seeking to understand the past. To understand what's next for the coronavirus, that means looking back more than a century, to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 - the only event comparable to corona in living memory.
The similarities between the two viruses are stark: both are insidiously infectious, spreading very quickly; both have required considerable modification of social behaviors to mitigate spread; both met with inadequate government response.
The differences are ominous. The world is both more densely populated and more mobile now than then, portending a spread with far greater range and speed. And more ominous still are the things that haven't happened yet that might - the Spanish Flu mutated, reappearing in a cataclysmic second wave of far greater potency that killed, in the end, more than 50 million people; and historians noted, per the article above, that it drifted swiftly from public and institutional memory. Will that happen again?