Corona and the Consequence: A Sociological Outlook

COVID-19 has engulfed the entire world. The new pandemic is all set to bring multiple societal changes. Sociologically speaking, it has initiated a social change in the globalized world in a very different way. This issue is more about the debate between ‘nature’ and ‘society’. Hence the question arises if the present condition is the consequence of ‘naturalized human’ and that of ‘humanized nature’. COVID-19 is now a pandemic. Pandemics are not new to human society. There have been many such threats to human existence such as Spanish flu, Ebola, Zika, and many more.

India is in the third stage of demographic transition, where there is an increasing population with both the birth rate and death rates being low due to the advancement of technology, sanitation, and health facilities. So the challenge has appeared before the country with the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Such a crucial period demands the urgent use of ‘Sociological imagination’ as upheld by C. Wright Mill. The spread and effect of the pandemic depict the way the individuals, the countries are interconnected and interdependent upon each other. This interdependence and the interconnection with the larger whole or the system have been explained beautifully by the structural- functionalists. Society is a complex system and their parts work together to promote stability.  The parts of the whole society are like the organs which continuously perform for the continuity and maintenance of the system. As all most all the countries are affected by the pandemic, the economic, political, educational, and many other institutions have failed to work properly. The education, health, and economic sector are facing a huge crisis. The economy is having a recession.  The informal sector is suffering from a serious setback. The situation is aggravated by the infrastructural problems, human resources, lack of doctors, lack of hospitals, testing instruments, and last but not least the absence of a vaccine to treat the pandemic.

The pandemic’s influence cuts across the caste, class, and gender differences. Everyone is equally vulnerable in the time of crisis. First of all women issues have come to the limelight. In India, innumerable cases of domestic violence have been reported recently during the period of lockdown. Patriarchy has never loosened its grip in our society. This also puts the question on all the women empowerment measures by governmental and non-governmental efforts. ‘A woman’s place is in the kitchen’ – has become a torturous and disempowered saying for all women of India.  Similarly, the caste system has also stressed more on the impoverishment of people belonging to the lower caste in rural areas. Due to the paucity of resources, people find it difficult to feed their families. As there has always been caste-class nexus, this is again reflected in the rich, middle, and poor classes in both rural and urban areas.

It is the fact that ‘Anthropocene’ has shaped everything, starting from the hydrosphere to the lithosphere, everything is under human control and each of them carries human footprints. Not a single part of the world is pristine. The human and nature relationship has changed a lot after the industrial revolution. The aftermath of the revolution was growing consumerism and depletion of resources. The emergence of such pandemic has shaped the nature and human relationship. This is a great challenge to the way we live our lives. According to Ulrich Beck, we are living in a risk society. Such a risk is propelling us to think twice before polluting or harming Mother Nature.

With the announcement of lockdown in the country, human activity has reduced to a great extent, leading to fewer environmental problems, fewer pollutions, and less human interference in nature. Nature is healing. The lesson that we learned from the current situation needs to be remembered forever. To tackle the pandemic, all the efforts by the Govt. and the non-governmental organizations are worth praising. With strong faith and will power, all need to be united and help each other to save the world.

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