One line of thought is that this is just a temporary disruption. Life will return to normal, perhaps in 6 to 12 months time, and the classes will resume. Online will disappear to the margins, where it was.
The other is that this is an irreversible loss of innocence. The rubicon has been crossed and a new normal has emerged. Even when this pandemic is behind us, we will never go back again to education-as-usual.
Indeed, it is perfectly logical to see the pandemic-induced online surge as temporary. As we live through imposed constraints, it's hard to imagine anything to be long term. The changes have happened overnight and we have had little time to adjust to it. We are hoping this will pass - soon - alongwith all its relics and practices.
It is also true that online education has failed to live up to the hype. Universities and colleges went into poorly prepared, as…