COVID-19 has torn through the fabric of our lives all over the world - with over 20M cases and nearly 1M deaths, and a global collapse in GDP that is historically unprecedented. Will it have long term impact, and what will that look like - economically, politically, and socially?
Coronavirus will impact our societiesShow moreShow less
On a macro level, coronavirus may have significant social effects.
Coronavirus is causing an increase in distrust of the perceived ‘Other’. Ideas of national lockdown (eg. New Zealand) or quarantine for foreigners will gain cultural purchase, and reinforce our 'In-Group' sentiment.
The association in the public consciousness of coronavirus with China has caused a demonstrable rise in racism against East Asian people. There have already been examples of race-based hate crimes committed due to coronavirus. East Asian people have reported significant increases in microaggressions against them. This is similar to the increase in racism that followed the SARS outbreak.
This reflects long term studies on the relationship between spread of infectious diseases and xenophobia. It is common for xenophobia and racism to spike in response to increased spread of infectious disease, partially because the spread of disease makes people irrational. This is reflected throughout history - for instance, the bubonic plague was often blamed on Jewish people and travellers.
Coronavirus has caused a significant rise in racism, and as it worsens, this is unlikely to stop.
[P1] Coronavirus has caused a spike in racism against East Asian people.
[P2] This is unlikely to stop as coronavirus worsens.