Patterns of Contamination: From Fukushima to COVID-19

MAXIME POLLERI In the spring of 2016, I was invited to witness the work of citizen scientists in Fukushima. These citizen scientists were mostly farmers attempting to revitalize the sociocultural life of their region, which had been heavily affected by residual radioactivity in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. At 5:30 on a…

How Our Behaviour Affects Virus Evolution

DR GUL DENIZ SALALI COVID-19 is caused by the novel coronavirus (Sars-Cov-2), but coronaviruses have been among us for years. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, and different strains (genetic variants) choose different species as their hosts. Many people may have first heard about coronaviruses during the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak, when a strain was…

Cowboys and Coronavirus: Protesting Covid-19 in ‘The Land of the Free’

ROSIE MATHERS Over the last couple of weeks protests have broken out across America against lockdown measures imposed to reduce the spread and contraction of Covid-19. Rallies across Northern and Southern states have seen demonstrators take the streets to call for an end to quarantine, an urgent reopening the economy, and the return of over…

God’s Daily Briefings: Religious Leadership in a Global Pandemic

TILAK PAREKH The Voice of God Religious leaders possess immense power and influence. Believers may listen to government ministers or public health officials, but, above all, they place their faith in the religious elite. For many religious people, their quotidian lives are determined almost entirely by their faith. From mundane, banal activities such as what…

Memes, Migrants, And The Epidemiological Imagination

JOSH BABCOCK As COVID-19 escalated to officially pandemic proportions early this year, Coronavirus-prevention advice began circulating via Facebook and WhatsApp in Singapore. Mostly in English and Mandarin, the advice ranged from speculative antiviral uses of onions—“Slice an onion and leave it in the middle of the room overnight so it absorbs all the viruses”—to more…

Pandemic Predictions- The World Post-Covid-19 for Indian Females

DEVASHREE JUVEKAR As the entire world is grappling with the novel coronavirus pandemic, many experts and researchers have predicted a number of social and economic changes that the world would undergo post-pandemic, ranging from an increase in nationalism and decrease in globalization to changes in food choices and a global hunger crisis. I am going…

The ‘Invisible Enemy’: A Critical Look at the Use of Military Metaphors and Anthropomorphisation During The COVID-19 Pandemic

JAMES FOTHERBY In mid-March, before becoming infected with Coronavirus, Boris Johnson declared that his government must act like “any wartime government” while facing a deadly “enemy”. During Johnson’s admission to the Intensive Care Unit in early-April, Michael Gove stated that the Cabinet Office would continue to “marshal all the resources of government in the fight…

Trench Warfare of Mindsets in Switzerland’s Approach to The COVID-19 Pandemic

HÜSLER SAMIRA-SALOMÉ & PYTHON ANNICK MARIA ILDIKO On 26 March 2020, the Federal Council declared an extraordinary situation in accordance with the Epidemic Act and issued a set of measures, including the closure of all the shops, restaurants, bars and other leisure facilities. Businesses at which the recommended distance cannot be maintained (e.g. hairdressing salons)…

Equine PPID Connectivities and Covid-19: 2020 Journal Reflections

KIM CROWDER March 8th. I book a routine vet visit for my geriatric rescue pony’s annual vaccinations and hormone-monitoring test. March 22nd. In line with pandemic protocols the vet cancels all non-emergency equine visits. March 24th. It’s suddenly warm. The pony looks unwell, overheating in his super-shaggy winter coat. The grass is growing fast, flushed…

“In Beijing They Eat Snakes And Then Pig Out”: Xenophobia, Geopolitics, and the Role of the Italian Far-Right in Covid-19 Constructions of China

FRANCESCO FLORIS Well before the high rate of infections grew and lay citizens became affected by COVID-19 in Italy, fear, news from China, fake news, and the statements of some politicians, were already circulating. These circumstances lead to a growing wave of diffidence towards the Chinese communities in the country, culminating with acts of racial…

Why do we talk about Eurobonds? Or: The Big Division in the Euro Area

INGA AENNE FELDMANN The corona virus health crisis sent many countries of the world in a lock down to protect their elderly and vulnerable from severe illness and death. With the pandemic epicentre reaching Europe in March 2020, also the European Union (EU) Member States (MS) shut down – but while most of them are…

A Lesson In Composure: Learning From Migrants In Times Of Covid-19

CHRISTIAN UNGRUHE The Covid-19 pandemic teaches a number of painful lessons. Many people, persistently deprived from access to adequate health care, housing, education or jobs, pay a devastating price for structural inequalities. For some, think of refugees on the road or holding out in camps, political measures such as lockdowns may even worsen their already…

“Getting Closer” Through Art: Facebook and Turning to Art in The Time of Covid-19

MANUELA PELLEGRINO How to feel close when physically distant? This is, of course, not a new dilemma in itself; indeed, people who live far from their loved ones have long relied on technological solutions: video-calls with multiple participants, for instance, re-establish a ‘visual’ connection, albeit deprived of tactile sensory perception. Social distancing, however, has become…

Experiencing Corona Virus in the Andes

LUCIA STAVIG  A mix of huaynos, cumbia, and bird song still greet the sun in the Andean community in which I am riding out the month-long quarantine. At first glance, it might seem that not much has changed for this community in the age of COVID-19. Women in polleras still take their pigs and sheep…

The New Public Care: Seeking Coronavirus Truth through Networked Publics

MAGDALENA GÓRALSKA Before the pandemic begun the usual turn of events was like that: Beata, an accountant from a mid-size town in Poland has a health problem, or her husband has. She is not satisfied with medical advice given by doctors from either private or public healthcare sectors. She picks up her smartphone (she’s 60…

The Logic of ‘Advanced Deployment’ to Tackle COVID-19 in Taiwan

YI-CHENG WU I was planning to return to the UK to complete my PhD study before the coronavirus swept Europe. The Taiwanese government’s travel ban on medical personnel made my situation trickier. As a healthcare worker, it is embarrassing to ask for leave when all my colleagues are being urged to stay for the need…

Towards A Bright Post-Apocalypse

ERIC ORLOWSKI It was Walter Benjamin (1974 [1940]) who observed that we only experience history such as it is, when it stands still. However, he referred more so to the study of history, which was always the study of a mere snapshot of the true events, or indeed to the material ruins of the past:…

Revisiting Defoe, or: Why History Matters in the Time of Covid-19

CATHERINE TOURANGEAU Why should history matter in times of crisis? The question is worth pondering. Historians and history teachers are not on the front lines, fighting for people’s lives or providing food and medical supplies. Even their valuable knowledge and understanding of the crises of the past can seem useless and impractical. Every epidemic is…

The Past 60-plus Days in China: Covid-19 Perspectives from a Wuhan-native

LI HONGLIN With the arrival of April, the weather in Beijing becomes particularly warm, and people in masks rush to the park enjoying the spring. Meanwhile in my hometown, Wuhan, after two months of extremely tough days this spring stands to be especially precious. The cities around Wuhan have begun to end the isolation, and…

THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO COVID-19 PROJECT

Summaries of Responses From: Collecting COVID-19: A crowd-sourced digital ethnography of the COVID-19 Pandemic Question One: How do people find and share information online during a global pandemic? ‘Anthropological Responses to COVID-19’ will comprise six questions, each lasting a fortnight. These are posted on a website created by University College London’s Centre for Digital Anthropology….

COVID-19: A Simulacrum of the Climate Crisis?

HACER GÖREN 31st March 2020. Contrary to the once dominant optimism among the public that “Turkey is safe and secure”, COVID-19 has not skipped Turkey either. Yes, it is a single and “simple” virus that started to reinscribe not only Turkey but also the entire globe. Since 11th March 2020, when the first corona case…

God, health and COVID-19 in remote Papua New Guinea

MONICA MINNEGAL AND PETER DWYER The first COVID-19 case reached Papua New Guinea (PNG) on 13 March 2020, though it was several days before it was unambiguously confirmed. On 17 March the pandemic was declared a national security issue, and a State of Emergency came into effect on 24 March. By coincidence, in the week commencing Monday 16 March, members…

Technologies of Public Security: Deploying Imaginary Borders

HARRY FLETCHER On the 23rd of January, I sat on the fourth floor of a packed-out library, writing my dissertation. My thesis was on building pandemic resilient airports, and the lessons we could take from the 2003 SARS pandemic (another coronavirus that spread globally as asymptomatic but infectious passengers transited through airports). My institutional email…

Brasil, A Quarentena Como Possibilidade: Um Diálogo Africano E Sul-Americano

ANA GRETEL ECHAZÚ BÖSCHEMEIER & PINGRÉWAOGA BÉMA ABDOUL HADI SAVADOGO A presente é uma reflexão a duas vozes entre pessoas com origens continentais diversas que moram no Brasil. Abdoul Hadi P.B. Savadogo é socioantropólogo, burkinabê-malinês, (Burkina Faso e Mali) atuando no âmbito dos Estudos Africanos. Ana Gretel é antropóloga, feminista, do noroeste de Argentina, trabalhando…

Vulnerability of the Indian Poor

JESSICA GHATODE The global economy seems to be entering troubled territories as the second wave of COVID-19 spread to countries which remained unaffected so far. The economic impact, now no more limited to China, is evidently slowing down other economies including the US economy. Crippling down of world’s two greatest economies is surely bad news…

Hope in the Time of Corona: Indonesia

GEGER RIYANTO We were supposed to have a family dinner. In three days, I will be departing back to Germany. I was coming home for a few weeks to Indonesia in the middle of writing my Ph.D. thesis. Suddenly, during the motorcycle ride to my family’s apartment, my body ached unbearably. My temperature shot up….

Another Day In Quarantine: The Transmutation Of The House

MARÍA FLORENCIA BLANCO ESMORIS La Matanza, Buenos Aires, Argentina I didn’t wake up that day like all the others. I had slept badly. My only peace of mind was that my morning had started with a nice mate[1].How beautiful is the certitude when you can embrace it, when it covers you like a shelter or…

The Sleeping Bull in a China Shop

Exploring how Covid19 elucidates exploitation along the crosshairs of the occident vs the orient, and class stratification, in a neo-liberal age. LOUIS A.G. WILKES Night and Day; East and West. Two signifiers of the same spectrum that represent opposites. In a social imaginary that Marshall McLuhan referred to as the ‘global village’ (1962, p293), that…

Homecoming From The City: Covid-19 & Dhaka

MOHAMMAD TAREQ HASAN Due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Bangladesh, the government has announced a countrywide shutdown. The declaration of “public holiday” came on March 24th  in the afternoon. The shutdown – to be started from 26th of March for 10 days – was proposed to restrict community transmission of the coronavirus. Since the…

Pandemics/ Epidemics and the Social Body in Bangladesh

MOHAMMAD TAREQ HASAN Outbreak of Covid-19 virus in Bangladesh has forced the government to shut down all private and public offices except the emergency service providers. The shutdown started from 26th March and will continue until 4th April. The measure of shutting down the country has come after indications of community transmission of the virus…

Green Shoots

KATHARINE DOW ‘We’re in an incredibly unsettling period, globally, nationally. Can I allay some of my anxieties about what this means for me and my kids by buying a few instant mashed potato and extra chickpeas and corned beef? Well, maybe. Does that make me ridiculous? Possibly. Do I feel a bit better about it?…

Italy’s Hidden Epidemic: The Shadow of the Mafia over Post-Emergency Europe

FRANCESCO FLORIS On 4th April, more than two months after the declaration of the state of emergency and almost one month after the start of the quarantine throughout the national territory, comforting news began to arrive in Italy. The epidemiological curve has now stabilised, a new hospital specialising entirely in the treatment of critical coronavirus…

Anxiety, Scarcity and Precarity in a Time of COVID-19

SHARLI ANNE PAPHITIS On the 16th of March, I took one of my last trips into the office on the London Overground and found myself completely alone on an eerie train from Kings Cross. I had a feeling I wouldn’t make the journey for some time again since we had already been asked to ‘prepare…