Post Mortem

Advancing pandemic: A view point

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/10/2020 12:20:17 PM IST

 When we were presented with the early 2020 issue of the European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, no one comprehended what the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 in Wuhan province, China, would mean to the world, to Europe, to any country or any single person in the weeks to come. A couple of month later, life as we knew it fundamentally changed. The mantras of today are “Stay at home”, “Stay safe” and “Social distancing”. Never would have imagined that almost all over the world, nation states ban individual free movement and the gathering of people. 

Normal sociallife and work has come to a halt. A well known German Sociologist, Ulrich Beck’s ‘risk society’ appears to be taking on new forms in current times. The effects of the pandemic on social inequality, urban life, citizenship, migration, and core periphery relations are already becoming visible, but will be only fully comprehensible in due course. What we have to face up to is unprecedented as far as contemporary generations are concerned, and will leave heavy marks, stigma and perhaps trauma for those who survive the virus and the lucky ones who are not being physically infected.

The disaster is televised, and in the daily news, we increasingly see worn out faces of nurses, doctors, frontline workers and of all involved with keeping alive the livelihood in our neighbourhoods, cities and across the globe. Foremost, the rising numbers of mass deaths as result of the COVID-19 pandemic is streamed into our temporarily (over) crowded home spaces, and is reversing the notion of public social life and culture. Empty city streets, closed businesses and people avoiding proximity of each other are a bleak reminder. Everything does not come back to life during springtime as, the month April seems to be the cruellest of months for this year. The ‘state of emergency’ not only affects the physical and psychological health of population but it equally affects the political rights and democratic status of citizens. We might have to reconsider the notion of European solidarity, cosmopolitanism and global humanity in the years to come.

Therefore, I commercialize cultures; the amount of money at one’s disposal defines one’s opportunities to participate. This is equally true now that participation in social life has gone digital. Students have been challenged with uncountable digital challenges. Digital has taken over all our activities and without any warnings. The contradiction is such that, we were not allowed to used mobiles in classroom before whereas today in this pandemic we are forced to used at all times. But a time will come when this pandemic will be over, when we can go back to the streets, to have events without fear of contagion. As students, we are waiting for the day and time where our normal classes and old normalcy returns. We try to keep community alive with the tools that we have, and the way that we end up doing it has political implications.

Sentirenla Walling, Class12 Arts, Modern College Kohima


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