Selfishness or solidarity: how does the coronavirus change us?
For the first time in the age of instant digital information, the entire world is experiencing a pandemic.
Every day we watch videos from hospitals and cities brought to a standstill by the epidemic, read statistical data, and hear appeals from scientists, doctors, and politicians to support home lockdown to stop the virus.
Analysts believe that sooner or later, the spread of this coronavirus will be stopped, or at least slowed enough for the world to return to some kind of normal. But humanity will be changed by this experience.
Things we took for granted – like eating out and human connection – will now have new meaning, at least until the memory of the lockdown fades. And we will all have learned lessons that are important for survival.
So what are these lessons like? And will we experience a newfound solidarity or become more selfish as a result?
How does a pandemic affect society?
The current situation has shown that the effect of viruses on humans is not only a medical problem; pandemics change our society.
The coronavirus has influenced many different spheres, from education and economics, to socialising and socio-political relations. And public reactions to pandemics can be unpredictable and unexpected.
The psychological effects of a pandemic are repeatedly described in the literature and cinema. The famous novel by Albert Camus ‘Plague’ has become a bestseller over the past few weeks. It perfectly describes the situation, when a contagious disease spreads in society – and one of its consequences is a gradual decrease in confidence in other people.
First of all, the level of anxiety and mutual distrust grows. The degree of tension is exacerbated with every cough. Interpersonal and social conflicts happen more frequently because people do not feel safe in crowded places.
The uncertainty of the future and changes to familiar life also has a natural impact on people. But this fear must develop into some kind of action, achieving a goal, a result.
Instead, escalating anxiety and fear distract people from the processes of self-realization and create a protective bustle. We have already witnessed panic and negative results from that panic, such as empty shelves in stores.
The egoistic aspect of the coronavirus
The lockdown has deprived people of the most powerful therapy – live communication. And this can lead to growing fear, anxiety, aggression and selfishness.
As Andie Younson, a resume writer from Pro essay writer observes:
“Many people treat quarantine as a threat to life, which means that natural protective mechanisms are activated. But at the same time, there are many who ignore the protective measures.
“It is wrong to constantly emphasize that the coronavirus is dangerous only to elderly or vulnerable people. This is a selfish approach which can feel, to the older generation and the vulnerable, that they aren’t considered as important.”
So it’s important, if we are healthy and don’t fear the pandemic, that we are thoughtful of how others might feel – people with a very different experience and a natural fear. The ability not to give in to panic does not mean we have permission to behave irresponsibly towards others.
Selfishness will not help in the fight against the pandemic. Despite borders, climatic, religious and cultural differences, over the past few decades, humanity has begun to grow together into a single whole. The internet, the development of business, transport, and tourism, constantly reduce distances and remove barriers between people.
The world has become interpenetrating. It provides unlimited opportunities and, at the same time, strengthens the risks. If danger arises in one place, it can potentially threaten everyone. Iso it’s important that we develop a collective security system to keep everyone safe – not just ourselves.
The importance of solidarity in pandemic
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the current situation is unprecedented:
“Countries should work together, learn from each other and coordinate their efforts in every way.
“To defeat the virus, communities, countries and our entire region must show a high level of solidarity, and citizens must maintain psychological stability. Each of us must contribute to the fight against the virus.”
Thousands of companies around the globe have moved their business online, as much as possible. And it is essential that we support each other within this framework. Every piece of information teaching others to work remotely will be helpful: task messengers, communication tools and HR software resources.
During the coronavirus pandemic, more people need help, and we’ve already seen communities rally together to support their vulnerable – for example by shopping for elderly or sick neighbours. And we’ve seen people try to support businesses to help keep them afloat – perhaps by continuing to pay for subscriptions for services that are not currently available.
In many ways the pandemic has renewed our sense of solidarity and community. Many people perceive the recent and current events as a common misfortune, and are ready to support each other despite the increased risk of getting sick.
It’s important to recognise that we all live in a global community, and that we are all dependent on each other. This applies to health care, climate change, and collective security needed for survival.
Poor countries must understand that they need fully equipped hospitals and qualified doctors in their own countries, as traveling abroad may not be possible.
And rich countries must understand that health systems need to be built in poor countries. Not only because it’s humane to ensure everyone has access to healthcare, but because health threats can come from these countries and contribute or lead to a pandemic.
Every person on our planet needs to understand and appreciate the value of EVERY human life, and do what they can to help limit the spread of the pandemic and protect and help the vulnerable.
How can you protect yourself against the coronavirus?
It’s important that you conduct your own research – from reputable resources – to ensure you are fully informed.
Read analytical materials on the statistics, dynamics, and characteristics of infections. Fear often breeds in ignorance. Knowledge will empower, inform and calm you.
The world has experienced (and survived) global pandemics in the past. For example, the pandemic of swine flu (H1N1) in 2009 killed 284,500 people out of 1,632,258 sick people.
And the percentage of mortality in other infections already known to us is much higher, according to the statistics. A stable psychological state increases the chances of maintaining healthy immunity. And, on the contrary, fear, and panic suppress it.
Observe the protective rules. You need to wash your hands and avoid crowded places. And you must always adhere to these recommendations. If there are symptoms, do not ignore them and consult a doctor.
There are both means and methods for detecting coronavirus. They will help take measures to help the immune system cope with the disease.
Do not forget about the support you can share, too. Look around to see if there is anybody in your neighbourhood or community who needs help. Sometimes you don’t need to do anything special, it can be just a word of encouragement
Together we can survive the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic spread to all continents in two and a half months. It affected 80% of the countries in the world. And it became a test of humanity for its ability to counter civilization threats, organize itself to solve urgent problems and draw the right conclusions.
Potentially, there is no threat that humanity could not effectively overcome by combining efforts, specialists, and resources.
And the first important achievement is done. Canadian company Medicago announced the creation of the vaccine against COVID-19. And if all testing stages are successful, then the company promises to start selling vaccines at the end of this summer.