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Applied Worldwide blogger Jimoh Faruk Moses writes about how Covid-19 has changed daily life in our society.

The Changed Society: New Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The analysis of the 17th and 18th century pandemic outbreaks shows that its comeuppances are not limited to the tangible. Social relations and the human behavioral patterns are also impacted by widespread epidemics. As is evident, change has garnered a forced rate since the outbreak of COVID-19. The society has been influenced by these geometrical transformations.

COVID-19 did not just alter our day-to-day lives, but it also imparted knowledge in its variety. It has changed people’s perspective about life, in the negative and positive vein. The socio-economic and religious activities of the people also experienced intensive change. We all want things to be the same again, yet the truth is that what has happened cannot be undone. We can only move past it. The reminiscence of our former cultures would bring with it a reminder of COVID-19. A lot of things have been static, and as same as ever. Some things however, and some people have become memories, and cease to exist in our new reality.

Perhaps a while before the pandemic, one would never envisage that we would be observing social distancing. Hugs and handshakes were the tradition. In the past one could stand without a care for nothing, at religious congregations, marriage ceremonies, parties, schools, markets etcetera. When social distancing is eventually scrapped, and the pandemic is gone, history shall not forget it. That the human behavior was modified by COVID-19 during a period of time is a story to be retold to the next generation.

Now we can joke about the intimacy we had with our technological tools. Who knew that those phones and computers would be the only succor at a particular time, whence boredom was at its peak? More than ever, people embraced the world of technology for communication and leisurely activities during the lockdown. Families became closer than ever. The realization that when we are together, nothing matters, dawned on us. A lot of families were separated by busy work schedules, education and other trivial matters. This era taught us how much we can survive as one. Perhaps it was food and income scarcity, fear, boredom or loss, we survived it together.

We would remember the face mask as the fashion-in-vogue during this era. We can remind ourselves of how we found joy in anguish, by sewing masks that were a match with our dresses. I had learnt that masks are for travelers, laborers, or the asthmatic, but now the narrative has changed. Masks are worn by those who are on the quest for survival. Everyone who wants to live through this deadly virus has adopted this gear.

During the pandemic, there were relatable situations in which people were forced to the wall due to poverty. Robbery cases were typical. Some people betrayed their principles just to survive. Crises broke out within families who were unable to balance the impact the pandemic had on their psychology. Depression drove people down the drain. Those who were not killed by COVID-19 had died by overwhelming themselves. The government issued palliatives, but that could not suffice in catering for the poverty-stricken, because it did not reach the people who truly needed it. Mismanagement and embezzlement prevailed. It became a survival of the fittest.

In addition, these endless programs streamed via television, radio and all social media platforms tried to aid students in learning from home. Some schools taught their pupils through zoom and Google classroom. Despite the closure of schools, students could still develop their aptitude, and were able to catch up even though they were offered instant promotion as soon as they resumed for the new school year. However, this was not entirely successful since the underprivileged were left out. Not every child has access to technology. It should be noted that after COVID-19 the number of out-of-school children increased.

The statement made by Arabian sociologist, Ibn Khaldun, in his book Muqaddama that “in any circumstance of pandemic, the fate of life will change, and the change, which may be positive or negative,” proves how much pandemics affect social behavior. The same adheres in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all can discern the truth from our experience.

Jimoh Faruk Moses

Jimoh Faruk Moses is a Biochemist from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a creative writer and poet. He was published in Opinion Nigeria and People's Daily Newspaper.