One of the major sources of conflict in my story is that, in my story's modern-day world, two to three times a year, a week-long supernatural effect is globally applied to everyone on Earth over the age of 13. These can range from relatively minor things like rendering them all mute, to the far more dangerous effects like making them all fall sideways instead of down.
Now, one thing that occurred to me early on with this concept is that there's a heck of a lot of human upkeep that needs to be done every day to keep society moving. Too much global disruption to everyone's work week, it stands to reason, could result in lasting damage to society and its various systems.
But given that there's a lot more going on in my story's world than just these periodic week-long events, asking about the consequences of any of the specific scenarios is going to be insanely complicated. So I thought I'd high-ball things to get something close to a worst-case-scenario in terms of how much an event like this could leave society unattended, then see what the various consequences of that would be and how long it would take to fix them.
So here's the scenario, and to keep things simple let's focus on America:
One Saturday afternoon, every single person on Earth who at that moment is 13 or older suddenly turns into a ghost. They're all still audible and visible (though semitransparent), can fly at about 20 mph in any direction they like, don't get hungry, tired, or have any biological needs at all, and are still wearing whatever they were wearing when it happened, but they cannot physically interact with anything, ghost or non-ghost, apart from their own body. Also, they can't leave the confines of the Earth's atmosphere, and when not flying are locked to the planet's general inertia and won't drift off into the sky as the planet moves.
Before this happens, everyone on Earth who would be affected is struck by a vague dizzy feeling, just enough to make them want to stop doing anything potentially dangerous like driving a vehicle. So assume no massive traffic accidents caused by millions of suddenly-unmanned vehicles. Also, assume no planes are flying when this happens.
This will last a week, after which everyone will turn back to normal(after being gently pushed upward out of any solid matter they may have been ghosting through at the time), and due to past experience with this world's magic system the fact that it will last a week is common knowledge. And it won't affect anyone who turns 13 during the week, only those who were already 13 or older when the event happened.
Basically, every single adult (and teenager) on Earth is rendered physically incapable of doing their jobs, and if they need something to be done during this week, they need to get a child to do it for them.
Now, that's the scenario. The first question about this scenario that I'd like to ask is what it would do to our electrical infrastructure. Power plants, power lines, everything that's involved in getting electricity to people's houses and keeping the America's lights on.
How much damage is this forced neglect of the world's infrastructure going to do to the power grid, what can the people, ghost adults and physical children, do while it's happening to mitigate the damage, and how long will it take before the power grid is back to normal?