Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have noticed that the virus, like an invisible detective in the world, brings to the surface many social, political and economic issues in every country that were there before, but are now more condensed and visible in my view. We can take a look. Not only at the virus, the infection process, its spread or containment, many of the theories, but also at all the secondary locations it reveals as well as social behavior forms or norms and ourselves. My summary.
It shows us that we choose to look for solutions on a national level instead of collaborating together.
It shows us that even the richest countries in the world lacked the minimum level of protective equipment.
It shows us how fragile the dependencies of the global value chain can be.
It shows us our ambivalent relationship with the elderly, whom we now protect and have previously forgotten socially.
It shows us that we tend to easily neglect children in society.
It shows us how quickly governments can act.
It shows us how autocratic systems used the cover of health issues to expand their power.
It shows us that populists lose their enemy images (over a certain time period).
It shows us how quickly we adopt behaviors to new norms.
It shows us how flexible we can suddenly organize certain work processes.
It shows us how much established routines keep us from finding solutions.
It shows us that a health system based on cost cutting and profit quickly reaches its limits and can cost lives.
It shows us that the lack of social and health safety nets has serious social consequences.
It shows us how much we wish for simple and linear explanations.
It shows us how laypersons become knowledgeable experts to correct others in their behavior.
It shows us how we are quick to place blame on others to avoid responsibility or avoid critically examining ourselves.
It shows us that complex questions cannot have simple answers.
It shows us that we know little and can live with that not knowing.
It shows us that we cannot totally escape the virus and that full control in life is illusory.
It shows us the grievances in various industries and draws our attention to them repeatedly.
It shows us which production and poor working conditions we actively support withour convenient consumption.
It shows us how much we are used to identifying and treating symptoms, rather than avoiding them in the long run.
It shows us that prevention and maintaining our health receive little attention.
It shows us that the permanent human intervention in natural habitats affects us.
It shows us that air pollution can have a negative impact on the course of disease.
It shows us which health conditions pose a higher risk for those affected.
It shows us that many of our lifestyle choices contribute to many of these conditions.
It shows us that social inequality and poverty can promote disease.
It shows us the threatening effects foregoing standstill and quietude can have on us.
It shows us how much the silence strengthened our awareness for nature in the short term.
It shows us how much the inner fear of illness and loss drives us.
It shows us that we assume longevity and deny death as part of life.
It shows us how unstable our social resilience can be in crises.
It shows us how irrationally we act when fear and panic overwhelm us.
It shows us how important it is to pay attention to others and what positive effects it can have.
It shows us that we will take care of our colds at home to protect ourselves and others.
It shows us how pleasant it is to not feel the shopping cart of the person behind you in your heels.
It shows us that for some people, distanceis a pleasant change to forced closeness.
It shows us that for some, quarantine was a welcome form of avoiding social obligations.
It shows us how little we commit to ourselves and deny our needs to comply with social rules.
It shows us that everything that comes to the surface was there before.
It shows us that we stopped the world for the first time for a superior goal.
It shows us what is possible in extreme cases.
It shows us that we still consider environmental and climate issues to be less of a threat.
It shows us that we are longing for the “old normal”.
It shows us that while we were thinking and worrying about the future, life went on.
Cologne, June 24th 2020