This is a collection of experiences, from all the battlegrounds of the crisis: from home, at work, in hospitals, and very often, inside one’s mind. How can we learn and connect the struggles? Blogging may be dead, but threatened by an offline virus this may be an escape.
There is a lot of noise out there about the pandemic. It feels like everything is standing still, yet so much is eroding, moving under the surface. We have been thinking about this paradox a lot, reflecting on movements and borders.
The interview with Claire is an attempt to make sense of what this means for refugees and people who do not have the option to stay home because they need to flee. Similarly, the comparison between France and Germany shows how European borders shape the responses to the crisis.
We also attempted to understand what is happening in hospitals from a European perspective – through the accounts of people who are locally involved- nurses and doctors (and those who are in the process of becoming doctors in the crisis). Both posts find very different answers as to how to understand the differences between Germany and Italy.
The issue of work in and around the crisis is an underlying theme, but it is most prominent in a comparison of two historical moments in India and what this means for the accessibility of food and welfare provisions: that of the Second World War and today. When the pandemic started, volunteers, academics and workers started a Dhaba in the North of Delhi.
Finally, to observe the changes in the work of academics we added the study of the student representatives of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Italy to make sense of how our own shifting material basis may influence the research after the crisis.
This site is curated by someone with a secure PhD position so even if this is an attempt to include various voices, I am still privileged enough to write this from my own sofa.
A few restrictions got lifted in Asia and Europe. Most prominently, Italy is slowly opening up again. This is an opportunity to recap how routines have changed over the last two months. So we added three individual narratives from students in Taiwan and Italy as well as one healthcare professional in Bulgaria. At a moment where India emerges as one of the epicentres of the pandemic we took a step back to understand what has already been going wrong in global food production and distribution and which factors have contributed to aggravate the current inaccessibly of food for so many people.
Contradictory tendencies of opening up spaces while cases are still on the rise and distancing measures used as mechanisms of social exclusion – be it Göttingen or New Delhi. Or as Shilpi writes, are we really in the same boat?
One way of overcoming those tensions is outlined in Maria’s account of her work as a volunteer of the workers’ Dhaba in Delhi.
È andato tutto bene? Is it all over now? The summer almost feels alive again. In a series of student reports from Edinburgh and beyond we learned how the situation is improving, it becomes easier to organise life again, to go outside and take a walk. But in the end, is social distance only something that has to do with the virus or was it always there, invisibly dividing us? At least it seems, that is not going away too far.
The blog is on hold as the pandemic is taking a pause as well. Beirut, Belarus and Hong Kong should not be forgotten by a year dominated by COVID-19. The post on Social distance and social media is an observation on our new perspectives on the news when we sit inside cut off from possibilities of participating and acting ourselves. Similarly, Sneha elaborates effects of working in home office, after half a year of experiencing it (and probably remaining there for some time).
The best thing to do in this comfortable and privileged home office situation in locked down Europe is to work, as nothing else is possible.
While parties are happening in India, news of herd immunity spreading even faster than anything it seems that there are parts of the world where the pandemic is over as there is a change visible in the statistics – or maybe simply the methods of statistical collection have been adjusted to the desired states of reality. Some states stopped collecting data all together. Others have used their population unknowingly to participate in vaccine trials and tests. Vaccine production became an issue of international relations and diplomacy. Haryana’s health minister, who is mentioned in the blog post as the first Indian phase three trial candidate of India’s COVAXIN fell ill due to the virus a few days after the post got published. So far, it is unclear how this could have happened. However, while the country was still busy with the pandemic in summer, fundamental laws were changed which the Pandemic Academic recollects.
New Year, new hope, or so it seems. Are we getting cooler architecture, better stories about the pandemic for the future and a larger radius to run around our houses? Oh and of course, what does it feel like to get the vaccine?