If there was one lesson I learnt early enough while studying Sociology at the university, it was the fact that man is by nature a gregarious being. Although inherently selfish, man cannot exist in isolation, cannot exist and even attain his full potentials without interacting with other members of the society.
In short, every man somehow owes his being and existence to other members of the society who helped him through the socialization process. For instance, man speaks a language, practices a religion, and even holds cultural beliefs that, when critically examined, do not belong to him but rather to the group he belongs. This goes to show you that individuality does not give much meaning to life.
Unfortunately, the world is now confronted with a strange and highly infectious disease known as Covid-19. This disease, for now, has no cure except that everyone should maintain a social distance or proceed on a pilgrimage of isolation in the event that he or she has contact with an infected person. The whole idea is to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
The first sociological implication of Covid-19, therefore, lies in the sad reality that to stay alive and protect himself from contracting the virus, man must now tame his gregarious lust for companionship by isolating himself. He must quench the urge of visiting friends and close family friends, all being sacrifices he must make to stay alive and healthy.
Another sociological implication of the Covid-19 pandemic is that everyone automatically becomes a suspect, a suspect because even without showing any symptom it is possible to transmit the illness. The question becomes how do you know who carries the virus or does not? And because the answer to the question is unknown, everybody becomes a suspect, casting a shadow of doubts on most physical social interactions across the globe.
In addition, a lot of collective behaviour, or if you like call it rituals, is presently taking place across the globe. There was a time when only Muslims were required to wash their hands daily before prayers, today we see the whole world having to regularly washing their hands with soap and water as a way of not contracting the novel Coronavirus.
While the above can quickly be dismissed as insignificant, the Sociological lens is able to observe that Covid-19 has imposed a new ritual, which may last for more weeks in the future, on the world. A new global brotherhood is, as a matter of fact, emerging in the collective fight against Covid-19. Interestingly, this is happening at a time when religious and social gathering is largely discouraged in most parts of the world.
Lastly, the outbreak of the Coronavirus has reminded the world once again that ethnicity, race, religion, language, nationality, gender, social class, etc are merely social constructions. So far, the Coronavirus has not been selective in targeting its victims.
Whether black or white, whether rich or poor, whether Asian or African, Covid-19 reminds us all that we are human beings first before anything else, that it cares not about whatever names we call ourselves. Once again, Covid-19 reminds the world that death is a leveller and that we all have the capacity to be united against death.