The modern term “pandemic” comes from the ancient Greek Πᾶν Δῆμος (πᾶν, pan, ‟all” and δῆμος, demos, ‟people”), and it is not limited to a disease spreading globally. Instead, it describes the impact of something on anyone anywhere. Weapons of mass destruction and echoes of the Cold War, alienation through technology, climate change, economic imbalance, and poverty are examples of this.
In the early spring of 2020, two-thirds of humanity – in total numbers, more than five billion people – were ordered into lockdowns for months to come, to stay safe at home in light of a pandemic caused by the global emergence of the novel COVID-19 virus. From that time on, the immense, unending tragedy unfolded quickly, leaving our future unpredictable – so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates an impact that will extend throughout all of the 21st century.
With humanity ordered into lockdown to help reduce the number of infections and limit the damage to society, the economy is on hold. As a result, governments are loaning billions and billions to support the people and to avoid a global economic crisis with a potentially disastrous impact – not only on a medical but also on a political and psychological level.
It is clear that COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the nature of our social interactions. In order to understand how new sanitary and distancing measures influence the ability to comprehend others’ emotions and interact with others, Leon Dimitrios gets into urban settings and tries to capture the everyday life of ordinary people under these extraordinary circumstances.
Nowadays, it often feels like many layers of pandemics occurring on the horizon or existing subdued beyond our perception abilities in stressful and distracting everyday lives. It seems like mighty changes are underway in our accelerated way of life driven and shaped by these pandemics.