Bill Gates. (Getty)
  • Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Bill Gates believes that most of society will return to some sense of normalcy in the near future, but one thing is unlikely to go back to the way it was: Work travel.
  • "There are a few things, like business trips, that I doubt will ever go back,"Gates said in a new interview with LinkedIn's This is Working.
  • "There will still be business trips," he said, "But you know, less."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With much of society shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, the big question on everyone's mind remains: When will things go back to normal?

The answer isn't straightforward and, in some cases, can be hard to swallow.

"We can open up in certain ways hopefully in the United State by early June if things go well," Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Bill Gates said in a new interview with LinkedIn's This is Working. "But it won't be where you're doing large public gatherings or even filling up a restaurant."

Gates has said previously that he expects students to return to school this fall.

Gates has repeatedly warned against a full return to normality until a vaccine is available for the general population.

"It'll be semi-normal until that vaccine is out there in billions of doses," he said. And a vaccine is still, at least, 18 months away. "Until you've got that vaccine widely used, life will still not be back to normal."

There are some things, he said, that are unlikely to ever return to normal.

"There are a few things, like business trips, that I doubt will ever go back," he said. It's simply a measure of necessity and risk, according to Gates.

"In the case of high school, I think the social activity - making friends, hanging out - that you get by being there physically, that's totally irreplaceable," he said.

But business trips? Not so much. "There will still be business trips. But you know, less."

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: