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 […]

‘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 […]