Day 1: 2020/06/23 (Tuesday)

Subject: Ethical Guidelines for COVID-19 Containment Measures

Prof. Yong-Hui Ma

-Is Immunity Passport a Good Idea Under COVID-19 Pandemic?


Prof. Luiz Oosterbeek

1.The dialectic turn expressed a convergence between appreciation of fellow citizens and extreme individualism, by shifting from a collective/statistical approach to a individual/humanistic approach. This challenges the established systems, which are focused on collective benefits, and require the convergence of 2 keywords: awareness (which relates to knowledge) and responsibility (which relates to autonomy). But there is a tension between the traditional role of states (to survey and punish, which is adequate for an isolation management of a pandemic, since it addresses a minority of infected people) and the new societal values (which would drive all State resources to surveying and punishing, in a securitarian state in which the pandemic would flourish). The question is “how to overcome the tension”?

2.In any case, we are experiencing growing tensions and conflicts, and traditional response of the humanities has been to analyse and interpret social processes through the lenses of history and anthropology. Often, scholars from social sciences, but sometimes also from the humanities, intervene in those processes claiming this is an academic imperative and not only a citizenship attitude. How does this interact with health and the preservation of lives, when the two worlds come together and, in the sphere of medicine, preserving any life (including of assassins, rapists or terrorists) is an ethical imperative?


Prof. Ping-Chen Hsiung

-Notes from a Historian :

-COVID-19 : The Humanist Turn


Prof. Laurent Tissot 

1. Beyond the issue of privacy, equality and fairness, it seems essential to integrate the economic dimension into the discussion. We have seen that in almost all countries there has been a constant opposition - at least by lobbies or groups of citizens more or less interested if not in official government policies - to containment in the name of freedom in the broad sense of the term, a concept closely associated with the economic sphere. This amounts to a better assessment of the coexistence of the freedom/constraints binomial.
2. From a historical point of view, the aim is to gain a better understanding of how, in emergency situations - war, armed conflict, natural disasters or or health crisis - democratic societies have been able to act to rebalance these notions: who decides, in the name of what, how to enforce compliance with the measures decided upon without affecting freedoms and economic activities, limitations of legislative powers in favour of the executive...  
3. Finally, I think it is important to reflect on the notion of frontiers. The term "deglobalization" appeared recently to show the limits of a worldwide homogenization of behaviour and practices. In other words, are borders capable of enforcing the dimensions mentioned? Is the global village being supplanted by a 'compartimentalization' of our existence that would lead to the emergence of global neighbourhoods or well-delineated and super-protected ghettos?  


Prof. Harold P. Sjursen

Containment and Testing  Despite unclear science, companies are racing ahead with the creation of digital immunity tools, so we must consider the consequences now. At this time, we cannot accurately identify who is immune to the coronavirus and determine how long they will remain immune,  and therefore whether certain people can safely enjoy greater freedom.

-What Ethical Choices Do We Face as a Consequence of The COVID-19 Pandemic?


Dr. Zoltan Somhegyi

When talking about the “Ethical Guidelines for COVID-19 Containment Measures”, it is worth mentioning how, in a way, double sided it is: what people are requested to do, and at the same time what are their opportunities (left) during these times – in other words: what are they provided with, broadly construed? I am interested in how humanities and the arts can help in the management of these issues, and to mention some forward-looking examples.





Day 2: 2020/06/24 (Wednesday)

Subject: Racism and COVID-19


Prof. Marta Hanson

How do we bring awareness to the phenomenon of how epidemics increase xenophobia, scapegoating, and racism?

Can specific historical examples of how and when the eradication of biological foes (germs, bacteria, viruses) became conflated with political foes help during first the

Patriotic Health Campaigns during the Korean War in early Communist China and the anti-schistosomiasis public health campaigns of the 1960s-70s help make visible comparable conflations in the present?

Covid-19 not only has brought racism even more to the surface in increased anti-Asian and anti-Immigrant sentiment, even violence, in the US, it has revealed how systemic racism is at the foundation of the health-care disparities that have resulted in the pandemic hitting African-American and Hispanic communities the hardest as well in the US. Such apocalyptic moments are  "revelatory" of a society's deepest failings and worst inequities, just as the protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death have similarly revealed. How can we use this period of "revelation" to take actions for the kinds of transformations we would like to see in the world related to racial, social, and economic justice


Prof. Harold P. Sjursen

Xenophobia and Racism  The notion that it is a Chinese virus betrays ignorance of scientific knowledge and the biology of viruses. It does support a political worldview of national sovereignty justified purely by power, but which asserts our own goodness, righteousness and purity; a proclamation that we are good because we are who we are.


Prof. Philip Buckley

-Marginalized Communities in Times of Crisis :


Prof. Cheuk-Yin Lee

1.Racism is not genetical and has nothing to do with the color of our skin. It is an ailment derived from ignorance and prejudice.

2.Racism and Hatred will not stop the spread of the coronavirus but create phobia and anxiety among us.


Prof. Ping-Chen Hsiung

-Notes from a Historian :

-COVID-19 : The Humanist Turn