Apr 3, 2020

COVID-19: Social impact

COVID-19: Social impact

The world, as we know it, has been brought to a halt. For the most of us, it feels like a dream. We live in a new reality, beyond our rationale only a few weeks ago.

Humanity has not only been confronted with the spread of a deadly virus, triggering a worldwide lockdown to limit it, but has found itself in a fundamental change in the trajectory of our lives. A change in how we exist and how we communicate with each other, forcing us to make decisions about how we will need to learn to live and communicate in the immediate future.

I’ve been in my homeland since the beginning of the pandemic, in a country that is one of the most beautiful places to be during a quarantine – Cyprus, one of the most popular tourist destination in the Mediterranean, though there are no tourists now. Fortunately, I did not happen to find myself confined in another part of the world and to have overcome the difficulties that many of our compatriots are still going through. But that does not make the restrictions an easy task, nor does it make the change we are experiencing less imposing to all of humanity. The social media is out of control. On the one hand, people have an immediate need to communicate with each other for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, we are in complete isolation and it is difficult to describe what the situation is. I would not say how the events we are experiencing during this period correspond to descriptions of the Biblical Book of Revelation, but they certainly remind me of a movie with a catastrophic scenario.

When I had to leave the house the other day to go to the office, I witnessed our deserted capital, Nicosia, like it hasn’t been seen before, and I wish I never see it again like this. It is incredible how quickly things have changed in a short period of time. The truth is that I feel the situation is changing hour by hour, imposing an unheard-of shift in our daily lives.

What we all want is for things to return to normal, or rather familiar, everyday life as soon as possible. But obviously, a historic moment is now taking place: we are experiencing the unprecedented unity of all people. We recognize that we are on the same front and we all have to deal with a conning, common enemy, COVID-19.

I know that the changes in our lives are a fact. Returning home from the office, a short drive – as only a few of us were driving in the streets, made me realize how such an impactful event can quickly change our world and our way of life. It is no exaggeration to say that as a modern society, we thought we were invincible, because we believed that we somehow exist beyond the rest of the nature, control it, or that we could function independently of it. So, I suppose it is probably a good time to slow down the pace we knew, to ponder where we are headed and to redefine our course.

Things will be very difficult for a while, that’s for sure. However, I believe we can work together and make it through these difficult times. This is a test for humanity. A test for our patience, our adaptability, our kindness, and our understanding of our fellow human beings and society at large.

Michael J. Hadjihannas


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