Minju Jung By: Minju Jung
Doctoral Researcher in Politics and International Relations
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20 Jun 2020 : Where we are now.

Since the pandemic began, we have told and thought that our lives will never be the same as it was before the pandemic. However, perhaps nobody knew how different it would be and what it would look like. I may have underrated COVID 19’s impact on my life as I had underestimated its impacts on public health at the beginning of this year. This had continued until a very good friend of mine had to leave Sheffield because his contract was not renewed. I did not think that I may lose my friend because of the pandemic.

The UK and many other countries have passed the peak of the virus. So, are we safe now? Perhaps not (a second peak may come if we are ‘unlucky’). Earlier, we were striving to survive the virus during the peak. Whereas now, we are struggling to survive its economic repercussions. I am not sure whether we should be relieved in worrying about losing a job, instead of losing our lives. We are facing just a different type of issue that puts our survival at risk. For me, it seems that we are opening our economy because, if we don’t, we will face severe economic hardship. It may be true because governments do not ensure peoples’ health and economic safeties, and social safety nets are also weak.

At the same time, other important issues (such as racism and economic recession) are replacing the pandemic or getting back to their places, where they were before the pandemic. Social distancing, as we have seen, in the protest for the Blacks Lives Matter, is not an important issue. The 2-meter rule is being considered to increas shops' ability to get customers in, as we are ready to open our society and economy.

It seems that the current changing circumstances are causing more uncertainties than it did in March. I am wondering about where we are now. Are we going back to normal or, pretending that the virus does not threat us or, creating our new normal to survive in economic difficulties and to deal with other importnat issues?

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