The COVID-19 virus is the new sheriff in town and nothing will ever be the same again. Change has just knocked at the door; is anthropology ready to answer?
COVID-19 brought to the fore the pathology of our metropoles. It is a pathology rooted in their economic structure, which draws from precariousness.
At its best, anthropology strives to understand the complexities of human existence and the ethical and moral dilemmas and choices that face us. The discipline that is invested in documenting societal change will have to formulate ways to work through an event that is unprecedented in most of our lifetimes.
Terms such as “lockdown,” “quarantine,” “social distancing,” and “isolation” became ubiquitous during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these were not familiar to the people of many non-Western countries like Bangladesh, and were often misunderstood or at least not understood accordingly.
How we decide to act as public anthropologists in this crisis will define the future of the discipline.
COVID-19 is the symptom, but late-stage extractive capitalism is the actual virus wreaking havoc in ecological and spiritual realms of civilization.
No matter the intensity of discourse about mask performance as a function of material, fit, and construction, it must be understood alongside mask performance as a sign of deference to social order.
The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on people’s health and emotions. Whether you are on the frontline or not, the concessions that are being made for our protection are also the cause of vexation, alienation, and panic.
Will governance protect capital over human survival or can we protect both?
COVID-19 paints this stark picture for us. Our land has been here before. How we respond this time will be the test of our nation, our people, and our culture as it was last time.