CRITICAL THEORIES OF CONTAGION: SURVEILLANCE, RESISTANCE, BARE LIFE, GRIEF
October 12, 2020
Pandemics have been around humans since the beginning of the spread of civilization; as far as the records are concerned. Pandemics/epidemics have shaped the world that we live in today. Although epidemics or pandemics are not something entirely new or nouvelle, humans keep repeating many similar mistakes over and over again. Medicinal science has come a long way since the past recorded epidemics but as the previous experiences are concerned, scientific success of an era highly relies on decisions taken by policy makers or rulers who do not always belong to these specific communities. Hence, the scientific success cannot always be used at its entirety to solve a relevant crisis. Starting from Thucydides to the current COVID-19 crisis it has been evident that lessons could be taken from past epidemics in order to contain the spread of potential epidemics/pandemics with proper use of political and social protocols. Past plagues had a pattern which are evident through the records. The scientific, philosophical, and medicinal development cannot be efficient enough if the political cards are not played right. The irrational views of many communities were also observable during the past endemics/pandemics similar to the present day pandemic. When the COVID-19 situation turned into a pandemic the current president of the United States kept mentioning it as a Chinese virus refering to its origin in China. The irrational naming issue is nothing new. Spain had to deal with 2 it just for being honest with their numbers while its peers simply hid everything under the rug. The influenza of 1918 did not even originate from Spain, yet it is regarded as the "spanish flu" throughout modern day texts. Although the name Spanish flu is just a part of the history now, the term coined by the US president has been responsible for a lot of hate crimes throughout the US and the western world. People started behaving badly around the asian communities blaming them for the virus. The pandemic made its way towards demonizing a certain community better than it did with the virus. Political leaders are not always the brightest. Ignorance and negligence towards crucial matters have cost many nations millions of lives. The past cases of endemics or pandemics did not disappear without lessons. In fact, the previous hits have warned the scholarly community of the possibility of repentance. The world was not in dark about the potential outbreak. The scholarly communities have repeatedly warned the governments and related agencies of these issues way in advance. Number of deaths probably would have been way less than what world had to endure if proper actions were taken on time. Throughout history, pandemics/outbreaks have allowed many governments to hold and expand their control over commoners. Many authorities seize these opportunities to take control of people's lives and choices. Quite a handful of nations have lost their democracy during the current COVID-19 pandemic and revolutionaries have been held inside brick and mortar walls simply with state of emergencies. 3 Outbreaks or pandemics have left lessons for humans to learn from, and apply in real life in order to avoid severe casualties in the future but how much of the lessons could we really absorb? The current situation says otherwise.