The “plandemic,” as many skeptics have called it, has kept many people locked in their homes, as we all know. Companies, schools, and families have redirected their whole lives to the internet and the use of electronic devices for entertainment, working, and studying. This reality has given tech companies like Zoom, Skype, etc., huge profits, at the expense of the “normal” human rhythm of life. In the attempt to rely on social interactions strictly through the internet, human qualities are endangered. Governments have failed to protect the common good of the people by making the decision to move entire education systems online; they have collaborated and worked for the best interest of corporations, not their people. Lest we all become dehumanized, we must fight for the waning human tradition.
The outcome of the pandemic by now is widespread unemployment, the closing of schools both private and public, the prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders that now can even be found even in kindergarten children, and many other consequences that we are bound to discover in the near future. This is a product of the dehumanization, and the consequence of the deprivation of social interaction. The human being is a social creature, constantly searching for socialization and the closeness it brings. Social interaction means contact with coworkers, classmates, family, and friends; seeing people smile and other facial expressions used to showcase emotions. Because of the obligation to use a face mask, this basic need is in jeopardy.
Across the globe, widespread propaganda regarding this pandemic has entire populations fearing for their lives, as if they were living during the Middle Ages when one third of Europe died from the Plague. They have terrorized people, up to the point that dehumanization seems to be the only way to live “safely.” People of various age groups now panic when they hear someone sneezing or coughing; they easily suspect that any other human being in their surroundings could be a possible carrier of the “deadly” virus. The situation obviously is no different when children see their parents behaving in said way, and as a result they also learn to fear. In the back of their minds their friends and playmates become threats; as a consequence they realize that they have to play alone during breaks, or avoid gathering after school to play together.
In the case of high school and college, the results vary. Teens are susceptible just like children are to the social distancing protocols. Before the pandemic, a lively class of 25 students in high school is now silent: the students look at each other with doubt and fear, they barely raise their hands nor take part in the activities the teacher wants them to follow. Another worrying fact is that many of them during the lockdown did not complete any assignments nor participate in Zoom meetings with their peers and teachers. In higher education spheres, teachers have tried to include different strategies or methods to reach their students, but the truth is, at least in Uruguay, for example, most college students do not feel motivated by online education. Many people in the past have defended online education since it would be fruitful for students who try to balance their work life and student life, but with this reality of being forced to comply with online education, many students are not liking it.
In the U.S. the situation is no different: Connecticut’s superintendent Michael Conner states: “Nothing replaces a teacher. Nothing replaces the everyday interaction with students,”(…) “Remote learning can’t deliver that.” In the US, college students also feel negatively the brusque transition to an all online education: “‘The pessimistic view is that [students] are going to hate it and never want to do this again, because all they’re doing is using Zoom to reproduce everything that’s wrong with traditional passive, teacher-centered modes of teaching,’ said Bill Cope, a professor of education policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.” (New York Times, Jon Marcus, updated June 25th 2020). In the same article some percentages are presented which show that at least 75% of students think they are not receiving quality education online. The picture does not seem to be different from Uruguay, although no studies were conducted in said country so far.
When one reads the protocols for the return of face to face lessons, at least one is amused, but in the most part, one is terrified. “Keeping distance of 1.5 meters, constant use of face mask, (…) “If we go outside if it’s nice, we have to sit apart (…).” With such remarks from an elementary school teacher, one definitely wonders at why so many young kids are silent, depressed… At last we can be sure, there are many citizens, parents, teachers, students worldwide who have realized where the world is going with the pandemic, and what sort of results we are going to have if the situation continues down this path. This is why resistance is building against the dehumanization social distancing brings. People are awakening and have begun to fight for the tradition of, in simple words: being humans.