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COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Humanities

As of mid-April, COVID-19 pandemic has not only claimed more than hundred thousand tolls and over one twenty million cases around the world but also has led to economic loss and social restriction due to the adoption of various containment measures including complete lockdown, quarantine and isolation, and social distancing resulting in the closure of school and work, the termination of public gathering, and the distance of close contact.

Although these containment measures play an important role in the control of the spread of SARS-COV-2 they have raised numerous debates on the pros and cons between the containment of COVID-19 and different aspects of humanities that embrace politics, economics, finance, culture, ethics, religion, socialism, education, tourism, arts, and equity.

From the political viewpoint, COVID-19 has not only afflicted numerous political leaderships around the world but has also swayed over the reciprocal relationships of these political leaderships, while different policies on the borders of isolation and lockdown have been made given the existing diplomatic networks and friendships across countries.  

The lockdown of the borders and cities has also restricted the activities of economics that affect bilateral and multi-lateral corroboration, resulting in direct and indirect economic consequences like the fluctuation of stock market and the deferred investment of various kinds of enterprise.

The measures of social distancing have also led to financial loss and also out of jobs for  all relevant workplaces, recreations, and restaurants although the contingency plan subsidized by national policy has been proposed and devised. Nonetheless, it is very difficult to sustain the maintenance while the duration of pandemics has still lasted for a while. 

There are numerous cultural disparities in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The classical example is pertaining to the habit of putting on mask for the reduction of transmission probability of COVID-19 between oriental and western society at the beginning of epidemics. Personal hygiene on washing hands and also shared meals while eating also varies from country to country.

While the demand for hospitalization and isolation ward and intensive care unit (ICU) has been pulled up due to a large-scale outbreak of COVID-19 the priority taken for allocating these limited resources across different demographic and socio-economic groups has created many serious ethical issues.

Due to a casade of outbreaks resulting from religious public gathering, one has no choice but need to take the containment measures of social distancing for containing the spread of SARS-COV-2. However, it would affect faith and conscience related to mindful and psychosocial feeling of human due to such a restriction.

The closure of school would also affect the education of students. Nonetheless, the majority of schools have already taken alternative strategy like online course that may study at home. It is very difficult to assess what is the impact has been caused by such not pedagogical and off-campus. The situation may be worse for the developing and undeveloped countries where such an alternative education style has yet well prepared.

Numerous famous exhibitions and presentation of arts have been cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. Although such kinds of art gathering can be resuscitated after the end of outbreak creativity and inspiration may not be retrievable both characteristics are sometimes instantaneous and change from time to time given each exchange of exhibition on arts and culture.  

COVID-19 pandemic also poses a great threat to tourism. There a substantial reduction of tourists in each country. There are numerous outbreaks of COVID-19 through aeroplane and also cruise ship. The first outbreak of Diamond Princess cruise ship is a lesson for the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing issues in relation to various types of the equity of human right when they were isolated on the harbour.

Prof. Tony Chen