The COVID crisis has dominated headlines—and our lives—and it’s still not clear when and how we will return to the world we knew. Many questions remain. How will communities, businesses, and governments continue to respond to the crisis and what are the range of possible scenarios for decision makers to consider? To offer some perspective on these questions we feature a recent conversation between Sven Smit and Francisco Ortega. Sven is a senior partner at McKinsey, based in Amsterdam. He recently co-authored the article, ‘Safeguarding our lives and our livelihoods: The imperative of our time’ which forms the basis of this discussion. Francisco is a senior partner based in our Buenos Aires office and serves as Managing Partner for Spanish Latin America. Sven and Francisco spoke via video conference in mid-April, 2020.