I came across this article on VinePair: https://vinepair.com/articles/sommelier-profession-covid-19/. It's the question I've been asking since March when so many were furloughed, laid off, and had their hours cut. I know more than a few people who have likely left the industry for good. Two enrolled in nursing school, one is studying to become a physical therapist, two went and got their realtor's license, and another is studying project management. I heard of a solid chef de partie working at Best Buy.
Once all of this is over and the industry bounces back,* will they resume their jobs as sommeliers, sales reps, and bartenders? Or will they continue down their new (and likely more lucrative) pathways?
My guess is they will not be back on the floor any time soon.
*I know it's audacious to look ahead when so many people and businesses are still fighting for their survival, but I firmly believe the industry will bounce back. After being stuck inside for so long, people are going to want to go out and have a good time. The only question I have is will the talent restaurants rely on to operate and thrive still be there when that time comes?