Will Covid-19 change the world as we know it?
The corona crisis is challenging certainties everywhere. What will our daily lives look like a few months from now? Will the world order collapse, or will the repercussions of the virus be manageable? Commentators also ask whether society will be different after the pandemic - and whether this is a desirable outcome.
Crisis-proven citizens will bring about change
La Vanguardia's editor-in-chief Jordi Juan hopes that there will be a lasting change of attitude in society:
“Will a change of strategy in global governance become possible because men and women are tired of living in a world that is becoming more dehumanised every day? Or will the Trumps, Putins and their ilk continue to determine the fate of the planet with arbitrary decisions like the trade war or the denial of climate change once the pandemic is over? ... I am pessimistic about our global leaders changing their attitude, but I believe that we citizens on the streets will emerge morally strengthened from this long curfew. And ultimately we are the only ones who can bring about change.”
Forget all you know
The corona crisis will completely destroy the world as we know it, website Gazete Duvar suspects:
“Now the winner of the day is the villager who lives far away from the city on a piece of land the size of a towel, just big enough to grow the ingredients for his own soup. ... However, what awaits us is not a paradisiacal rural scene but a picture of destruction. Before us lies a Kafkaesque future in which the states, in the name of self-sufficiency, will raise their walls and gather and monitor our health data through a chip in our passports, and we will be observable every moment of every day. ... One advantage of the Covid-19 virus is that it clears the way for us to throw everything we know and have learned to date into the waste bin.”
The pandemic is robbing us of our human qualities, writes cardiologist Thanasis Dritsas in Athens Voice:
“It is certain that the so-called coronavirus pandemic will end sooner or later, and most of us will have survived Covid-19. ... But all precautionary, forbidden and emergency measures will certainly remain with us to maintain a virtual sense of security that will transform us into beings living under chronic restraint and oppression. We will be as (simply) alive as the primitive structure of elementary biological organisms. ... We will have lost our human character and the characteristics of humanity; we will live like amoeba.”
Preserving our world for future generations
In a commentary piece in 24 Chasa, writer Georgi Gospodinov hopes that the virus won't change everything:
“My most optimistic prediction for the next 20 years is that the key things will remain as they are, namely that people will continue to read books and cry over the fate of fictional heroes; that they will feel pity and curiosity; that they will enjoy the sun until late autumn and the snow in winter; that they will travel peacefully; that today's children will have their own children and that everything will be as it was 20 years ago. That is no small thing. On the contrary: it's actually everything. I think we are gradually and with humility (an important word) beginning to understand how important it is to preserve the world of yesterday and bring it into tomorrow.”
The world will keep turning without us
We're now seeing just how fragile our highly developed civilisation is, writes Piotr Płoszajski, former director general of the Polish Academy of Sciences, in Gazeta Wyborcza:
“The current pandemic serves as a reminder of our real, highly unstable place in the ecosystem and in evolution in general. ... We'd better not forget that we humans are just a historical episode, a brilliant mega-civilisation that has grown phenomenally in a short period of time before overwhelming itself because its own achievements have left it defenceless against self-created problems. At some point, a super-macro version of the Napoleonic Waterloo awaits us.”