24 March 2020 ~ Comments Off on Every Crisis Is A Moral Crisis; the Corona edition

Every Crisis Is A Moral Crisis; the Corona edition

With events like these it takes some time to fully realize what’s going on. It will take even longer before all the dust has settled and it becomes clear what kind of impact Corona has on this generation. Most of us grew up in a world that was defined as a “postmodern society” or a “post 911-world”. Maybe this will shift into the “post-Corona generation”. A generation that never experienced a war, just economic crises, nothing that hit us directly or physically. Until now: we’ll be Corona survivors. Hopefully.

Meanwhile it’s important to unify this earth’s nation. Show solidarity with the ones suffering most from this pandemic. It is sickening to polarize our world under these circumstances and not support or even obstruct the current measures being taken for political gains. This is a non-political disaster happening to everyone, no exceptions made. Corona doesn’t discriminate. You’d think.

Because on the other hand, why treat this crisis differently than other crises? Simply because it’s also hitting us, the rich western people, and not only a minority somewhere at the other side of the world? Saying “This catastrophe is an unprecedented unique case” is a sign of privilege, of not feeling the impact of other disasters happening around the world.

Every crisis is a moral crisis. Even this one. Sometimes it’s hard to see what ethics have to do with for instance an earthquake or an epidemic like this. At first sight it might not be too evident, and moral appeals might not change the direct course of events during such catastrophes. First things first, get done what needs to get done. But when we look at how, for instance, epidemics come to existence (epidemic zoonoses are the result of how we see and treat animals) and what policies come into effect to “normalize” the situation, moral dilemmas become apparent and those in power have the option to take left or right turns. Naomi Klein wrote a terrific book about how catastrophes are being used to shift political paradigms seemingly unnoticed: The Shock Doctrine. A recommended read in times like these. This crisis could also be a great opportunity to do a factory reset; double check if we want to re-install certain mechanisms that are currently shut down because of the quarantines, that we might not want to see come back when we return to our normal lives.

It’s crucial to stay united and show solidarity with all involved. But it’s also important to stay critical of what’s going on, what decisions are being made and how power is being used. Some measures taken now seem obvious and necessary, but are unwanted to remain standard procedure. For instance: will cash payments return, will small (physical) shops survive and revive after the crisis? On the other hand, more online education options becoming available to more people and the increase of contacting people (far away) via digital communication might be nice side effects of this crisis. It will be crucial to check what choices will be made when the dust starts to settle, and how strong our unity will remain and how far our solidarity will reach then.

Stay safe, stay healthy! <3 

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