Op-Ed: COVID-19 hastened social world paradigm shift

Italy’s COVID-19 death toll instills fear of what lies lies ahead globally.

The social world is undergoing a paradigm shift. The phrase means a major change in the concepts and practices of how something works or is accomplished. In 2020, it can be understood by assessing the abrupt change incurred to the physical society by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Corona virus illustrated to humanity that it is not a respecter of geographical boundaries, race or class. It also demystified our illusions, nobody is invincible or immune to COVID-19. As an aftermath humanity is slowly drifting towards social disintegration which they perceive as an escape from the unbearable feeling of their vulnerability to the pandemic.

Social disintegration stretches, strains family bonds and that leads to frustrating lives. As words like ‘lock-down’, ‘social distancing’ gain momentum, people are overwhelmed with anxiety of what lies ahead of them. What began as an outbreak in Wuhan, China has infiltrated the world leaving people with no viable alternatives, but to cooperate and distance themselves socially as a survival tactic.

Post COVID-19 era is full of uncertainties, for instance, as more countries enforce stringent measures to curb people’s movements as a non-pharmaceutical measure to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, the fate of self employed citizens and entrepreneurs whose survival depends on social integration seem bleak. Will they bounce back?

The pandemic has also forced the world’s biggest churches to shut their doors until further notice, they have now resorted to live-streaming. This addressed an overdue debate, church has never been about the building , it’s about people.

The Spectator Index shows the horrific numbers of deaths caused by COVID-19 within a short period of time. This can be an illustration of how porous our health systems are, however the blaming game will not work this time. Humanity need to cooperate in order to survive.

These global events depicts how COVID-19 has disrupted the world’s society

  • Emirates, one of the world’s largest long-haul airlines will suspend all airlines due to COVID-19
  • Germany bans gatherings of more than 2 people. Restaurants, hair salons and other businesses where people usually gather will be closed.
  • English Premier League, the worlds most followed league halted the 2019/2020 season due to corona virus
  • South African political parties, set aside their divergent political opinions to mitigate the spread of the pandemic within the country
  • United Arab Emirates king Salman orders closure of malls and urged people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary

A virus that keeps us in our homes, already changes our relationship with the outside world. Although we will become closely connected through the internet, we do so at the disintegration of our societies. As an aftermath the term ‘global village’ becomes a reality, illustrating that a social paradigm shift has happened.