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 […]

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. […]