Sociological perspective on Impacts of COVID-19 on Society

COVID-19-induced restrictions have brought unexpected transformations to human societies and social patterns. Some define the obtaining social phenomena as “the new normal”, a historical era marked by social restrictions.

In the face of uncertainty, human populations have become keenly aware of the need to religiously follow preventative and protective health guidelines.

As such, face masks, social distancing, practicing hand hygiene, and staying at home have since become acceptable in society.

Police details have been resolute, ensuring that the general populace adheres to prescribed guidelines.

The new social order offers social scientists an opportunity to investigate changes in social patterns that might be helpful in predicting the future.

The industrial revolution was the source of inspiration for classical sociologists such as Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Auguste Comte.

Sociology is the scientific study of human social interactions and institutions.

Unprecedented restrictive measures to slow down the virus have become “the new normal”.

From conventional to alternative medicine, culture, and religion, no facet of human life has been spared from the scourge.

Critically, the emergence of the pandemic has further compounded already existing challenges.

Such as economic, social and cultural issues are important, the need to save lives remains a top priority.

Medicine

Conventional medicine has apparently become the globally accepted contingency for slowing viral transmission.

Accordingly, the World Health Organisation technical guidelines for mitigating the impact of the pandemic have been adopted by most countries.

Social distancing, hand washing for more than 20 seconds with soap and water, or alternatively with an alcohol-based sanitizer, including wearing face masks have become the order of the day.

Regrettably, critical outpatient services have been suffering.

Health authorities are seemingly focusing on the coronavirus.

The ravaging pandemic has exposed vulnerable populations such as people living with HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and other non-communicable diseases.

Unfortunately, alternative medicine has not been widely accepted in critical discourse on mitigating the impact of Covid-19.

Though the Madagascan herbal medicine has attracted global attention, it has been received with skepticism.

Apparently, traditional practitioners and faith healers have been rendered redundant.

The Government only recognizes scientifically proven and evidence-based remedies for coronavirus.

On the contrary, patients have a right to helpful alternatives as recognized by the country’s laws.

There is also need to examine the efficacy of traditional medicines.

Religion

Religious and faith-based institutions play very important roles in slowing down transmissions.

In times of crisis, religious and traditional leaders are better equipped to engage their followers in order to raise awareness.

However, it is also incumbent upon religious and faith-based leaders to re-examine religious rituals and practices to prevent aiding the spread of the disease.

Cleanliness is next to godliness as said by Mahatma Gandhi

Since hygiene is imperative in most religions, dutiful leaders should emphasize on such teachings to educate society on the importance of handwashing and sanitation.

The church, a critical religious institution in society, has been severely affected by the pandemic.

Virtual sermons have become “the new order” as congregates are continuously in lockdown.

Though Karl Marx viewed religion as the opium of the masses, Emile Durkheim regarded religion highly.

Durkheim envisaged social solidarity and social cohesion as paramount.

He also considered a failure to abide by socially constructed facts as deviance.

In the wake of the global pandemic, humanity has turned to God for “protection and safety”.

It is apparent that life is “fragile and random”, and humanity cannot control life.

Humanitarianism

Non-governmental organizations are an integral player in fighting the virus.

Governments cannot be expected to do it alone.

Covid-19 is causing poverty and widening gender inequalities.

Women and children bear the brunt of poverty the most.

of note, NGOs are complimenting Government efforts through health education, information dissemination, and provision of livelihoods to vulnerable populations.

No facet of humanity has escaped the wrath of the pandemic.

Most institutions in society are adapting to new social patterns and embracing the new social order.

It is important to embrace new social norms – wear a face mask or rather stays at home, exercise social distancing and maintain hand hygiene.

Family dynamics:

Domestic violence & home video-gaming
Lockdown and social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have heightened fears of increasing levels of domestic violence, which includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse

Refuge, one of the UK’s domestic abuse charities, has reported a 25% increase in calls made to its helpline since lockdown measures were announced

The concentrated time spent in lockdown means that vulnerable people are more exposed to abuse and it is more difficult for them to seek help. In response to the increasing concern, the UK government has published guidelines on how to recognize domestic abuse, how to report it and where, with a list of all the services available
In addition, a significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been seen within the video-gaming industry. With many individuals self-isolating and/or remaining home under strict governmental regulations, online gaming has seen the emergence of record numbers of players( like PUBG, LUDO KING, etc.)which has facilitated a boost in revenue for many companies.

Other impacts

  • Various mental health implications( Isolation, suicidal thoughts(Durkheim), Hikikomori, Kodokushi of japan)
  • Economic implications
  • Addictions
  • Families living in tight quarters and complicated family dynamics
  • The college experience and what this means now and later
  • Implications for higher ed as a result of this—more schools might assume more can be moved online.
  • Racism amidst the virus—i.e. the treatment of Asians and Asian Americans
  • Ageism and the treatment of the elderly
  • Expecting a baby at this moment in history
  • Relationships and intimacy now (people away from boyfriends and girlfriends, the toll on marriages, etc)
  • Unemployment
  • Food insecurity and hunger
  • Self-harm
  • The trappings of domestic violence and incest and assault amidst quarantine
  • Health care
  • Effect on International relations
  • CATHARSIS: Creativity that emerges during these rocky periods in history—art, music, literature, dance, film, poetry, etc.

Sociology for everyone

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