We live in an exceptional situation. Economy crippled by Corona crisis, planes no longer flying, hospitals overloaded. Schools and universities are closed, many people are working from home or fear losing their jobs.
This changes our consciousness, but this change remains even after the crisis has passed? I really hope so, because this way the pandemic will change our lives permanently – and in a positive way. We are more solidary, more helpful towards those who belong to the risk group. Nurses are held in higher esteem, and I also smile more often at the cashiers in the supermarket.
This crisis should remind us that we can only function as a society if we stick together. In addition, the whole situation helps us at best also to respect nature again more. We are all outnumbered. It can trigger a crisis with a bit of genetic material in a protein shell – that's all viruses are, strictly speaking. So it can quickly "recover" from us humans.
In Venice, for example, the rivers are so clear again that you can see fish in the water and swans are swimming in the canals. Air pollution levels have briefly dropped significantly around the world.
Of course we should try to go on with our old lives once the crisis is over. But we should not lose sight of how much nature around us changes when we pollute it less for a few weeks.
For me, I take the few positive things from this situation into the future and hope that we maintain the awareness to stick together as a society and better protect nature.
By Lina Probst
We are in the year 2020 A.D. The whole world is occupied by a virus … the whole world? Yes! But a group of indomitable people does not stop resisting the invader…
These people fight tirelessly for the lives of their fellow citizens, earning praise from talk show guests and loud applause that is quickly swallowed by empty streets – neither of which, incidentally, can pay their own rent. They ie warnings, ask us to stay at home.
But man would not be man if he suddenly listened to experts, keyword climate crisis. No, modern Homo sapiens (Latin for 'wise') would have to be renamed Homo stultus (Latin for 'stupid' or 'foolish') at this point. Instead of retreating into our own four walls out of consideration for risk groups, homo stultus reacts as follows: 1. He uses the free time to meet friends in the cafe when the sun is shining, as he is not part of the risk group. 2. He buys all the supermarkets empty to hoard toilet paper and basic foodstuffs. 3. He participates in the scaremongering by spreading baseless rumors and fake news on social networks like WhatsApp.
Yes, life is not easy for the citizens who suffer from the occupation of the virus. But while people in this country worry about how to kill time in quarantine, they forget that others don't even get the chance to quarantine at all. In the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, according to media reports, there are about 19.000 people, far more than the camp's capacity. As a result, there is a lack of medical care.
And while Europe is sealing itself off, it is only a matter of time before the virus breaks out in Moria, where it can spread unhindered. What we are experiencing is not just a crisis of humanity, but a crisis of humanity. A virus doesn't care what color our skin is or where we come from. We must finally learn to erase these mental barriers from our collective memory. Let us finally replace Homo stultus with Homo sapiens.
For me, returning home was out of the question, but I had to return to Germany for a few days for some exams I had not yet completed in the current winter semester, only to learn after my arrival that all these exams would be cancelled. Despite arances from the chancellor of the university that disadvantages would be tried to be avoided, the solidarity demanded by our chancellor, Angela Merkel, is unfortunately not much in evidence at my university. Especially when it comes to making up exams, there is little willingness to accept: Contrary to the announced special solutions, it seems that in some departments of my university it is not possible to take a substitute exam from home, from a safe environment – Quite the opposite of France. In France, instead of a written exam, the option of a term paper is granted.
Moreover, in our country, students from at-risk groups in particular are faced with the choice of taking their state exams now, despite the crisis, unless they postpone their graduation until the next exam period. As a result of this action, we students are not only left out in the cold, but are faced with fears for the future.
Of course, the current situation changes every day, and important decisions have to be made from day to day, but we must not lose sight of the fact that life will go on after the crisis is over.
Solidarity and willingness to help is more important than ever at the moment. We all have to pull together. Not only to overcome the crisis, but also to secure the future afterwards.