Georgiana CONSTANTIN-PARKE, PhD
Abstract. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a new type of challenge for 21st century society. Although such health crises are not new experiences, dealing with them in the 21st century presents unique trials. During this time when equilibrium, logic and tempered actions are most needed, critical mistakes have been made, the likes of which might lead to perilous precedents. Manipulation, state intervention, and media alarmism have left many in society with deep and potentially permanent scars. What were some of the indefensible errors made? Might there be a solution to avoiding them in the future?
Keywords: intervention, elderly, individual rights, caution
The COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world by surprise, despite the fact that conversations revolving around not if but when the next such global threat will emerge had been taking place for quite some time. Each country has dealt with the emergence and spread of this virus as it has found best. Some have had a very strict lockdown, others, such as Sweden, have not.
During the lockdowns, many have managed to spend more time with their families, perhaps focus on their hobbies, and find some time to catch up on their favorite shows. Others, however, have had to deal with layoffs, working from home while taking care of children who are now out of daycare, getting reacquainted with their spouses, being sequestered with abusive family members, battling mental health issues exacerbated by social isolation and so on. The levels of anxiety and depression have been high during these times, and the media has not been doing much to help the situation. Most of the times, in fact, it has been alarming people rather than informing them. Irritability and behavioral issues have also come to light due to the stress of lockdowns and an overload of disturbing news.
Throughout this time, numerous mistakes were made, which should be taken into account and kept from being repeated in the future. Around the world people have had to deal with not only illogical but also heartless treatment, from giving birth alone or being refused care to spending COVID-19 recovery or their dying hours in isolation or with only a virtual visit for comfort. Families have been broken up and traumas have been inflicted. Meanwhile, dangerous rhetoric has been emerging. The questions of how to approach the treatment of the elderly and one’s neighbor have not always found easy or even humane answers in some cases. Let us examine some of these issues.