COVID19 lockdown: witnesses to system dystopia.
When our thinking is not only limited to knowledge, invention starts running. Thus, longing for the day when we go back to our daily routines should not be our aim during the COVID-19 lockdown. We miss our previous daily routines, but they are now part of a system in ruins.
Humans are victims of their own imperfection, vulnerability, greed and the arrogance linked to our own believe that we are unbeatable. We can not buy anymore whatever and whenever we want in this capitalist system - as we must think in “other’s” needs. We cannot travel low-cost in our globalized world - as we should only travel for whatever is “strictly necessary”. In a world where poverty and scarcity coexist with privilege, we are required to maintain a “social distance” under threat of fines. In a world ruled by selfish individualism and unlimited private property, those who give their lives for human causes and the collective benefit are the new “heroes” and “role models”. The dystopia that COVID-19 has brought us is the setting where the power of the imagination must prevail over our nostalgia for the routine of a ruined system.
Since the collective is momentum within the dystopia in which we live, let's think about how the collective will help us in our post-pandemic routine. These are some of my reflections for that world after the COVID-19 disease, and that hopefully will act as food for your brain:
The importance of personal hygiene for a healthy society. Surface sanitising, contact distance, facial masks usage when someone is sick or with flu symptoms, the ritual to wash our hands. Routines that wouldn´t become part of our own culture without a sense of community - as we now understand that good hygiene means to respect people around us. We knew that cleaning professionals are essential in society. Now, we respect them and appreciate them.
Priviledge understood from its base. Social distance or the access to water to wash our hands frequently. These two basics tasks reminded us what privileged societies are. We have experienced it in our own lives. The ease of opening a tap with running water, the space at home to store food for weeks, living with no income for a while and still being able to have a meal every day. Moreover, we realised that we have a safe space to quarantine ourselves. The privilege understood from its base makes us more grateful and more understanding. Now, we recognise ourselves as priviledge beings.
State security is not directly proportional to military investment. Securing a state and their citizents is measured by R&D investment or how well equiped are health workers and how well prepared they are to use PPE. Likewise, security and strength are also measured by food security, technology and the human capacity to use it and the infrastructure to implement it. And undoubtedly, by their respect for basic human rights and collective solidarity.
The political response to the COVID-19 pandemic was late. Citizen conscience too. Fear, skepticism, and a lack of global commitments to global problems have revealed a global failure toset up timely contingency plans. Furthermore, being uninformed in the information age is a decision, and fake news undermined journalists even before the pandemic began to be called as such. Hence, in the post-pandemic world, fake news will be investigated as attacks on the right of all citizens to be well informed. Platforms that make money from the disclosure of these must be prosecuted by law as accomplices to hate speech and media manipulation.
No one doubts the social mandate to protect those who protect us and to care for those who care for us. Activists, health personnel, cleaning staff, caregivers, farmers, staple food sellers, teachers, and artists stept up as leaders. They did not allow fear to outweigh their commitment to save us from hunger, the virus and from depression. In a post-pandemic world, post-traumatic stress therapy and treatment are for patients recovered from the virus, for families who could not honor the death of their loved ones, and for health care personnel who were at the front-line of the fight.
Climate change as a priority for all States. CO2 shrinkage, work from home, governments prioritizing scientific advice and their studies and not the words comming from economists and financial institutions, stratospheric public spending to ease the social pressure of the crisis during the fight against the virus and beyond -during the next global recession. All these events together will do what seemed impossible: prioritize climate change on political agendas. The COVID-19 disease scenario revealed the inpracticality of an economic system based on the short term. Now, there is a path to a sustainable economic model where there is room for our well-being and all beings on the planet - who by the way have flourished while humanity shut themselves up in their homes.
Let's honor our elderly and sick who are losing their lives in this nightmare, and let's work for a world where solidarity and balance imbued all our actions, words, decisions and future.