The Coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on cities and populations all over the world. Although the virus itself is only a tiny, invisible thing, it has set a challenge for humanity: public spaces in cities have become empty, airports are closed, prayers have been cancelled and people are told to stay home for the first time in our lifetime. As cities are not meant to only satisfy basic human needs but provide crucial physical and social environments for human interaction, the changes the virus has brought to urban spaces have left stark impressions on their inhabitants and vice versa. Our daily habits influence our lives, and the way we act and interact reforms our built environment.
Leaving the house to talk in private. How COVID19 restrictions affected how and where we find someone to talk to.Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland
Talja Blokland, Robert Vief and Daniela Krüger ask how the political measures to slow down the coronavirus, especially by not meeting other people, affected how people organised their support for challenges they faced. Drawing on representative survey results from four neighbourhoods in Berlin in both 2019 and 2020, they show that, before the lockdown, a majority of their respondents communicated face-to-face to confront their most pressing personal challenges and did so outside of their home. Under COVID19 restrictions, digital exchanges became more important – but curiously, they did not make us stay home.
The Corona-lockdown has severely affected retail, as economic analysts show. Whether true or not, the Berlin department stores of Karstadt seemed to use the lockdown to explain its crisis when its planned closures made the news in October 2020. The debate after Karstadt’s announcement of closures on the need to save the department stores from […]
The Corona crisis will change our conditions of observation. The clarification of sociological positioning for observation and interpretation requires a heuristic of subjectivity. Two main figures are shaping this heuristic: the suffering body and the virtual body, connected as well as elaborated through dense internet practices. On the basis of this heuristic the alteration of communicative action can be analyzed.
(Authors: Daniela Stoltenberg, Maya de Vries Kedem, Hadas Gur-Ze'ev, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Annie Waldherr, Barbara Pfetsch.) With the Covid-19 pandemic touching all parts of life, academic research has not been an exception. Even for researchers who are able to maintain access to their field – for instance, through online research – considerable changes in the objects of study force them to rethink their research questions and study designs as they go along. The team behind CRC project B05 “Translocal Networks” reflects on their experiences of conducting a survey of intense Twitter users at the height of the first Covid-19 wave in Jerusalem.
"Ich bin die 'Fremde', die 'heute kommt und morgen bleibt.' (Simmel, 1992: 764). In Zeiten der Corona-Krise fühle ich mich als Südkoreanerin in Deutschland noch fremder, doch gleichzeitig fühle ich mich als in Deutschland lebende Südkoreanerin auch fremd, wenn ich mit meinen Freunden in Korea kommuniziere." Kayoon Kim berichtet über den unterschiedlichen Umgang mit Corona in Südkorea und Deutschland.
In a nutshell, the measures taken to stem the Covid-19 disease consist basically in the drawing of new and the thickening of existing borders. The strategy of bordering practices, as Norbert Cyrus & Peter Ulrich summarize these interventions against the spread of the Corona virus, was pursued first time in Wuhan, China: The right to leave and enter the city area had been restricted and movements across city borders became the subject of surveillance. Also, within the city area, the citizens’ freedom of movement was strictly restricted by imposing a curfew. Moreover, access to stores and working places was only allowed under certain restrictions.
In a context of global inequality, the ontological status of the SARS-CoV-2 virus changes according to the socio-technical network into which it is integrated. Jannik Schritt discusses how the virus travels and translates around the globe in context-specific ways producing different effects and exacerbating pre-existing inequalities. In light of the context-specific transformations of the virus, the question is whether a global standardized approach of isolation and lockdown that builds on a decontextualized equivalence construction is apt to manage the pandemic.