About this blog
„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 […]

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 […]