The traumatic eruption of Covid-19 pandemic has put a huge challenge to the whole sphere. With its outbreak have arisen many questions that still are unanswered. Where scientists and astronauts were thinking of exploring life on the Mars and people around the world were appreciating the amazing scientific and technological innovations and discoveries, at the same time no one would have ever imagined about the tiny microscopic organism being so eldritch that could crush down the whole world. It has proved to be as perilous as it has taken millions of lives so far globally and millions of people are still battling with life and death conditions.
Scientists at the world level are straining every nerve to find answer of this covid 19 mystery which is getting uncontrollable and now is emerging in new phases, has also put a challenge to social scientists to take notes of the changes it has brought in the social structure. Every institution of society is undergoing a kind of change. Social institutions including family, education, economics, culture, religion etc. are witnessing a drift from the existing norms and patterns. Not only in one society, horrifying tales about the Covid 19 pandemic are coming from all over the globe and has spared no other society from its cruel clutch. There goes the great saying of Aristotle, that “when the story telling goes bad in society, the result is decadence”. There has been a great effect of Covid 19 on social structure as it has brought plethora of changes in social order. By necessarily following the social distancing measures, it has brought drastic changes in family relations as there seems less warmth while greeting family members, friends or colleagues and on the other hand there has been a rise in family conflicts and domestic violence cases of the most vulnerable groups including women and children while staying at home. It has negatively affected their psychological wellbeing and they claim of experiencing the obscurity without any hope about life.
Face masks in ancient times was worn by Greek actors during their stage shows to hide their identity behind the cover. But now wearing of face masks to protect oneself and practicing hygienic measures has now been a cultural norm of every society. The culture of “shaking hands” is being replaced by the culture of “waving hands” from the distance of two meters. Touch Me Not attitude among the people has attained the prepotency. By following the Social Distancing measures this pandemic has blown life into the half dead concept of untouchability.The lockdown measures set forth by the government in order to curb the spread of virus has restricted the collective religious practices and temporary closure of spiritual centers but at the same time has provided enough time for introspection which is good in itself.
The whacking restriction on human rights including the ‘Right to education’ is grave of all changes this pandemic has brought. It has forced administrators to close down the gates of schools, colleges and universities globally. It has changed the whole scene of physical classes into the long standing concept of technologically driven learning; the matter of concern is whether existing curriculum and pedagogy are going good with anytime, anywhere learning. Practice of homeschooling during this pandemic has been the core method of learning for students at the global level. But at the same time it has created a digital divide among students, as only children from privileged sections of society have access to the electronic learning, as well said by the Conflict Theorist Karl Marx that, the history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles”, and the underprivileged children are struggling for the needful resources necessary to cope up their study loss while staying at home.
Work from Home [WFH] culture also took its birth during this pandemic as it has forcibly led people to shut all the work places around the sphere. Millions of people working on the daily wages basis lost their jobs because all the bread earning opportunities for them has been sealed. It has been a trouble making for trade and commerce sector as well. Globally, there has been a sharp decline in the growth rate of the business sector. In short it has a devastating effect on the global economy at large.
We are hopeful that sooner or later this Corona phase will end, but it has been a great matter of debate for scientists, medical professionals, researchers, sociologists, writers, businessmen, and historians, may be in future it will be taught in school history books and the change this pandemic has brought in society will be discussed in future. But only one change being humans we can withstand is the change in morality, as rightly quoted by the great sociologist Emile Durkheim that, “Man is a moral being, only because he lives in society. Let all social life disappear and morality will disappear with it.” We have to firmly hold the flambeau of our moral values so that history will witness the fact that during this devastating global pandemic people did not let their morality fall prey to this eldritch virus. Post pandemic the society will not be the same as it has gravely changed every aspect of life and there is the fear of trepidation among people everywhere. But we have to be patient, devoted, faithful and hopeful that will help in healing the social bonds necessary for social reconstruction.
SYED INSHAALLAH TAHIR,
RESEARCH SCHOLAR, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
UNIVERSITY OF KASHMIR…