Emerging from Lockdown
“Moral pioneering” in Everyday Practices for Women in Europe and North America
As Europe and North America begin to ease lockdown restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, this essay looks broadly at how people, especially women, assess and justify risk and the morality of social contact, and the actions they take as a result. In other words, how do women act as “moral pioneers” (Rapp 1988) while navigating […]

Mixed Messages
COVID-19, a Cartoon Heroine, and Violence Against Women in Mexico
One of the gendered impacts of COVID-19 is the surge of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in many parts of the world as a result of lockdowns and stay-in-place orders (UN Women 2020). Using Mexico as a case study, I will address possible causes for the rise of VAWG during the current pandemic, and […]

When “Slow Violence” Collides with Visceral Hunger
COVID-19 and the Current and Future Food System of Cape Town, South Africa
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated both the unsustainability and the fragility of our current food system, across multiple scales. COVID-19 has proven to be the litmus test for the current industrialized food system, one that has, in certain circles, been championed as being the only way in which society can ensure adequate global food supply […]

Whose Space is this?
A Multispecies Auto-Ethnography of Viral-Human Negotiations in the Contact Zone
Just as this intimidating encounter of an orang-utan in the city SARS-CoV-2 reshapes the spatial and temporal organization of (public) social space. Source: Orangutan by Taylor Herring (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).   “Like faces pressed against a window, they leer at me menacingly: their very nearness is what menaces” (Timothy Morton 2013).   Co-existing with SARS-CoV-2 […]

„In Isolation“
Dokumentation über die Zeit nach dem COVID-19 Lockdown
Die Idee zu dem Film „In Isolation“ ist während der Zeit nach dem Corona-Lockdown im März 2020 entstanden. Die damit verbundene kollektive Isolation, die uns alle in Österreich in Distanz zueinander und zur Außenwelt setzte, hat mich so in ihren Bann gezogen, dass ich von heute auf morgen begann, dieses Projekt umzusetzen. Die Zeitspanne von […]

Pandemic, Democratic Death, and Antifragility in Contemporary Italy
A Personal Reflection
This article aims to reflect on how dying and the perception of death in the COVID-19 pandemic have changed in Piedmont (Italy). It explores how the relatives have been deprived of the possibility of accompanying the corpses and practicing the funeral ritual of the deceased; and how a new form of ‘death education’ has become […]

Future-making on Hold
Pandemic Audio Diaries from two Rift Valley Lakes in Kenya
In this post, we share the accounts of our research partners from Lake Baringo and Lake Naivasha in the Kenyan Rift Valley on how the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic impacts their lives and livelihoods. In mobile research with mobile people, mobile media have for long taken an important stance in terms of communicating in and with “the […]

Government, Church, and the Community of Believers
Managing the Coronavirus in Ethiopia during Easter Time
When the coronavirus enters Ethiopia The first time I heard somebody talking about the coronavirus in Ethiopia was in my car, in Addis Ababa, at the beginning of February 2020, as I was giving a lift to some of my Ethiopian colleagues from one side of the city to the other. Chatting during the journey, […]

COVID-19 Secrecy in Indonesia
Between Economy and the Government’s Empty Pride
Angela Merkel’s remark on 11 March 2020 that up to 70 percent of Germany’s population could contract COVID-19 was brutal. Being highlighted in various Indonesian news outlets, I can imagine how her words baffled their audience. Still, as someone who has to witness how secretive government gestures worsened the COVID-19-induced uncertainty in Indonesia, I strangely […]

Blocking the Pandemic
Regional Boundary Controls in Indonesia’s Far East
Indonesia, whose population of 267 million inhabits a vast archipelago, has not been spared the challenge of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The difficulty of managing the disease has been compounded by limited public health and health care capacity, and high mobility of people and goods within the country and across its borders. A noteworthy feature of […]

#StayAwake in the Time of Pandemic
A Case of Anti-Government Protests in Slovenia
Almost every Saturday afternoon in the past two months, the so called ‘Hygiene-Demo’ takes place at the Rosa Luxemburg Platz in Berlin, where up to thousand people gather. According to local media, the participants protest against the ongoing lockdown measures decreed by the federal states to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (Der Tagesspiegel 2020). […]

Learning Medical Anthropology through the Coronavirus
5 Student Essays from Copenhagen
Teaching “Introduction into Medical Anthropology” in the Midst of an Unfolding Pandemic By Anna Mann   At the Department of Anthropology in Copenhagen, like in many other places, a course “Introduction into Medical Anthropology” started at beginning of February. Each Friday, we, a group of engaged BA and MA students and one lecturer, met to […]

Why Can’t I Walk Your Dog?
Not Accepting Help as a Coping Strategy During the Swiss Lockdown
“Et nous souhaitons ici lancer un appel à l’ensemble de la population et notamment un appel aussi aux personnes âgées et vulnérables: Restez à la maison pour protéger votre santé. Évitez autant que possible les contacts avec d’autres personnes”[1] (Alain Berset, Swiss health minister, press conference of the Swiss Federal Counsil, 16/03/2020). In the first […]

What COVID-19 Reveals about Borders and Citizenship
Europe’s Migrants on Their Way Back Home
Travel restrictions became a global response to combat the spread of COVID-19. According to an analysis from April 2020 at least 93 percent of the global population live in countries with coronavirus-related travel restrictions. Nearly half of that proportion – some 3 billion people in all – are in countries that are almost completely closed […]

Wenn aus Tätern Opfer werden
Freilassung von Gefangenen wegen des Coronavirus in Argentinien
SARS-CoV-2 hat die gesamte Welt in einen Ausnahmezustand versetzt. Jeden Tag geschieht etwas Neues, Unvorhersehbares, worauf die Menschen reagieren müssen. Die Regierungen der Länder und ihr Krisenmanagement werden auf die Probe gestellt. Oftmals treffen sie Entscheidungen, die nicht von allen für gut geheißen werden, ja, sogar moralisch fragwürdig sind. Seit Ende Februar bin ich in […]

Versatile Houses and Flexible Bodies in Times of Coronavirus in Buenos Aires
We’re social scientists. We study practices and imaginaries around the body and the spaces that urban middle sectors inhabit. Isolation brought back questions and we returned to our fieldwork[1]: What becomes visible in this new context? How do we experience and articulate our bodies in our homes? First, the suggested confinement and then, the mandatory […]

Teaching in the Times of Corona
Structural Inequalities and the Limitations of Online Pedagogy in North East India
The COVID-19 pandemic has gravitated a shift in teaching practices across the world. The fear of contagion and the necessity of social distancing have rendered traditional classroom teaching impossible. Over the last two months, the higher education sector has shifted from the classrooms and campuses to online conferencing applications and discussion forums. Teachers, taking the […]

Paris, a Deserted – Quiet City?
Impressions from France
The Covid-19 epidemic has changed everyday life in Paris dramatically. More so, during the last month since the government announced that France entered the 3rd phase of the epidemic (defined as “sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in humans. Human-to-human transmission, if any, is insufficient to cause community-level outbreaks”) (Pandemics WebMD Medical Reference 2020: 1) […]

“We Cannot Afford to Take Any Risks”
Refugees in Indonesia under Self-Isolation amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
Refugees in Indonesia are stuck in “troubled transit” (Missbach 2015), hoping for resettlement, living in a constant state of uncertainty. Their ‘refugee’ identities are defined by their past traumas and search for a future home. In their present state of indefinite ‘transit’ in Indonesia, they try to adapt by developing a sense of community, setting […]

Limiting Life for an Unlimited Time
A Student’s Perspective
‘It feels like we are in a puzzle. But there are missing pieces, so there is no way to see the whole picture yet. I guess they just forgot to put them in the package’ (a friend, March 2020).   The fear of loose ends Student lives usually have to be quite flexible. We change […]

Shared Isolation and Digital Connectedness in the United States
Viewing the World Through My Timeline On Sunday, 8 March 2020, I scrolled past the following exchange in the “Dixie Chicks Fan Club,” (the name of the group has since changed), a GroupMe group containing 21 students and alumni from the same sports radio club at the University of Michigan.   Image 1: GroupMe Screenshot, […]

The pre-existing vulnerabilities of patients with rare disorders in Poland during a global pandemic
The global race to find a vaccine and effective treatments for COVID-19 has already shown its side effects. In the UK and Poland patients with lupus, a rare, autoimmune disease and patient organizations have raised their concerns about the availability of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine (Boseley 2020; Godlewska 2020). In Poland, chloroquine is solely manufactured by […]

Tea Without Sugar as a Remedy Against Covid-19?
Impressions from Al-Mafaza, Eastern Sudan
Since the first corona case has been announced in Khartoum on 13 March 2020, people have been fairly alarmed. Everybody fears contracting the virus, my concern was a bit different though. Especially when there was a rumor that the Ministry of Education might decide to shut down the schools until further notice. I am a […]

Corona-Ninjas and Corona-Hyenas
COVID-19 Rhetoric in Poland
Each word tastes of the context and contexts in which it has lived its socially charged life… Mikhail Bakhtin (1981:293) Different words and phrases have been invented during the coronavirus pandemic to impose order on the reality that is novel, chaotic, and unpredictable. The vocabulary people deploy in different local, national, and transnational contexts has […]

What’s in a (Welsh) Name?
Local Inflections on Corona Infection
Like other strange phenomena, that arrived with the virus in Europe, it happened in Italy first. People fled the North of the country for the South in the hope of escaping to a safer region. In the UK, the direction of travel has been the other way around, from the South to the more rural […]

Positioniertheit im Gesundheitsnotstand
Wahrnehmungen, Auslassungen und Bewertungen im Kontext von Ebola und Corona
„Es ist wohl auch zu spät. Das Virus hat sich so weit verbreitet, dass es kaum noch hülfe, einzelne Regionen unter Quarantäne zu stellen. Die Gepflogenheiten der Einheimischen haben der Seuche ein leichtes Spiel beschert. Die Regierungen haben zu spät reagiert. Ohne ein massives Eingreifen der Behörden wird die Epidemie nicht zu besiegen sein. Dann […]

Singapore Nipped Things in the Bud
Germany Struggled with Delays
As has been widely reported, a novel coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Spreading rapidly through the city, and eventually the province of Hubei in January, countries and cities in the region started to implement travel restrictions in regards to Wuhan and eventually all of China. However, before its extremely infectious nature was […]

Xenophobic Moods in the Wake of a Pandemic
Impressions from India
This note is born out of our exchange with my supervisor, professor William S. Sax, about our recent escapes from different parts of India, in the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping in mind the Modi’s government’s abrupt manner of action, I decided to make my way back when things started to build up, and […]

The Cultural Construction of the ‘Bizzare’
Disentangling Sinophobic Language in Media and Science During the COVID-19 Epidemic
The Wuhan virus, the Chinese virus, or SARS-CoV-2? Wording matters! I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the borders from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative […]

Virological Witch Hunts
Coronavirus and Social Control under Quarantine in Bergamo, Italy
Compilations of video clips of Italian mayors berating citizens breaking quarantine to walk dogs, jog, or play ping pong have become something of a ‘viral’ sensation both in Italy and globally. The clips are often amusing, featuring politicians accusing their constituents of vanity, incontinence, and other assorted sins. As anthropologists interested in the politics of […]

Monströs oder gespenstisch?
Fragen von Schuld, Verantwortung und Solidarität in Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie
Dieser Text stellt eine theoretische Reflexion zur Corona-Pandemie dar, die ich aus einer Situation in meiner Feldforschung zur lokalen Aushandlung des globalen Klimawandels im Rheinland entwickelt habe. Da in Deutschland seit Ende März 2020 aufgrund der globalen Corona-Pandemie alle Bürger*innen angehalten sind, sich weitestgehend abzuschotten und körperliche Distanz zu ihren Mitmenschen zu wahren, fand ich […]

Refugees in Bremen fighting for protection
Vulnerability, power relation, and the double-standards of structural racism in Corona times
Since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19, the German media have been full of calls for solidarity, with demands to stand together in times of crisis and to take care of others. A wide range of diverse practices and domains, ranging from neighborhood aid (Vetter 2020, TAZ 2020a) and large national “rescue parachutes” for the […]

COVID-19 in an Economically Fragile and Politically Divergent Country
Impressions from Sudan
For now I do not remember when and how I first heard about COVID-19, but I remember well when I had my first conversation with someone about the virus: It was on 31 January 2020 at the University of Cologne in Germany. As we were heading to take B.2.1 (German language test), a classmate asked […]

‘Too Close for Comfort’
Public Health, Private Zeal and the Corona Pandemic in India
These are my preliminary thoughts during the first two weeks of being at home from work, in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). I teach at a university in this city, the capital of the eastern Indian state, West Bengal. On 14 March 2020, the Chief Minister of the state ordered all educational institutions shut fearing a sharp […]

The spread of ‘Corona’: from the Urban to the Rural
Impressions from Kenya
In this contribution I want to examine how rural areas were already ‘hit’ by the coronavirus without having any confirmed cases, i.e. while the virus had not really manifested itself yet, a plethora of information, (fake-)news and rumours shaped people’s actions, feelings and perceptions about it. Moreover, the government regulations to limit the spread of […]

At the Border of Us and Them
An Anecdote of a Korean International Student Going Through Corona Pandemic in France
With the spread of the coronavirus, social distancing has become a new imperative. The changes are indeed very fast-paced. While many countries are adopting various measures to control the coronavirus outbreak, some measures are tougher than others, from mere recommendation on reducing social and physical contacts to an enforced lockdown in the village/city or travel […]

Sich der Pandemie hingeben
Schreiben und Nervosität in Zeiten von Covid-19
„Ich glaube, es gibt bei vielen ein ähnliches Verlangen, nicht anfangen zu müssen; ein ähnliches Begehren, sich von vornherein auf der anderen Seite des Diskurses zu befinden und nicht von außen ansehen zu müssen, was er Einzigartiges, Bedrohliches, ja vielleicht Unheilvolles an sich hat.“ Michel Foucault [1] Eigentlich möchte ich nicht anfangen, über Covid-19 zu […]

The invisible threats and the unhealthy world
What might the Mbya (Brazil) teach us about Corona?
The first day I realised I was really afraid of being infected and also of the proximity of the new coronavirus to my family, I understood what some of my Guarani-Mbyá friends have been saying to me since 2003. For them, every time they need to go out of their teko’a (existential territory) it is […]

Traveling between China and Germany in the time of COVID-19 Outbreak
During the time of the Coronavirus outbreak and its spread between January and March 2020, my husband and I flew back to China from Frankfurt Airport (January 8, 2020) and returned to Germany (January 31, 2020). Until now, I have experienced the same issue (the Coronavirus crisis) in two different countries. I would like to […]

Überlastete Covid-19-Untersuchungsstellen und die Koordination von Verdachtsfällen in Berlin
Zur Entlastung der Berliner Covid-19-Untersuchungsstellen hat die Charité eine App eingerichtet. CovApp bietet Menschen mit potenzieller Exposition zu Covid-19-Fällen die Möglichkeit, ihre individuelle Gefährdung fundiert einzuschätzen. Gegebenenfalls wird durch die App nach Beantwortung einiger Fragen davon abgeraten, die Untersuchungsstellen aufzusuchen. Bisweilen sind die App-Empfehlungen, den eigenen Gesundheitszustand ärztlich abklären zu lassen, jedoch nicht mit den […]

Watching Coronavirus in Kenya
Here in Kenya the sun is shining and a beautiful breeze is blowing through the house. But the house is where we have been, and largely stayed for over a week now since 16th of March, when schools closed and most families kept their children home. If it is somewhat frustrating for us, how must it […]

Silent Encroachments
Counting and grappling with Covid-19 in unequal Brazil
Life, as we know, has been abruptly disrupted. In Brazil, talk about the coronavirus and the mechanics of contagion and containment come into contact with political exasperation and make salient the contours of the country’s deep-seated social and economic inequality. The politics of virus recognition—whether the virus is actually discernible and should be taken seriously—has […]

Observations from Japan
In general Compared to the Chinese “lockdown”, it is business as usual in Japan, almost as if nothing has happened. Since many Japanese people wear masks as protection against flu and/or hay fever, during the transition from winter to spring, it is now difficult to tell whether or not they are wearing masks because of […]

Impressions from Lindi, Tanzania
Whereas other parts of the world were already in turmoil because of the new corona-virus, Lindi in Tanzania was until a few days ago as tranquil as ever and Tanzanians were minding their everyday business. There were occasional jokes and discussions about the virus. When looking at the stern measures taken elsewhere, some did already […]

Kölner Corona
This Corona thing is not quite comparable to any memorable situation. The anthropologist’s mind attempts to reach insights about social responses to this crisis, but there are few constants in this equation. Even stories I hear from friends and family back home do not ring familiar. This leaves me wondering to what degree my experience […]

‘Stay on your continent!’
Coronavirus and the alarm of European spread in South Africa
When the first cases of infection started to appear in southern Germany, Jens Spahn, the Federal Minister of Health, was optimistic about the ability of German health authorities to contact trace and isolate infected persons (n-tv, 2020). Everyday life would continue while specialist tracer teams were hard at work. The borders would certainly remain open. […]

Curare Corona Diaries Project
Call for Diaries in the Strict Sense of the Term
The editorial board of “Curare. Journal of Medical Anthropology” is planning a special issue on the current corona pandemic. For this purpose, we are collecting ethnographic material written down as (auto-)ethnographic diaries, which record what is happening in one’s own environment. This is perhaps a unique opportunity to generate ethnographic material that makes it possible […]

Witnessing Corona
„Witnessing Corona“ is inviting contributions of max 2000 words that address questions of: – social solidarity and moral blaming – living a life in social and/or physical isolation – unequal biosocial and/or psychological vulnerabilities – political-economic implications for healthcare infrastructures – historically contingent forms, possibilities, and risks of governmental intervention – and a host of […]