Many things have been or will be attempted by many parties to combat the coronavirus. Yuval Noah Harari in his writing entitled “The World After Coronavirus” proposes two options that can be done to deal with this pandemic. The first is totalitarian surveillance and the second is global solidarity. This totalitarian surveillance has been implemented by the governments of China and Israel where they use technology to be able to track the movements of every citizen. By using smartphones, they can find out the body temperature, blood pressure, and contact history made by each citizen. While the second option, namely the need for cooperation between each country to be able to distribute aid to each other (Harari, 2020).
The first method is considered very effective in preventing the transmission of the virus because the government can find out if its citizens are sick or have direct contact with people who are sick. But for many people, that kind of surveillance violates the public’s right to privacy. People will feel watched 24 hours a day by their phones, this is what Michel Foucault calls the ‘panopticon’. Panopticon itself is a form of self-monitoring, where people will obey the rules without needing to be instructed because they feel they are always under surveillance. Citizens are like prisoners, where they feel they are being watched every time they see a watchtower (even though there is not always a watchdog in the tower), so they will always obey the rules for fear of being seen committing violations at any time. Foucault cites Jeremy Bentham’s point of control, where power must be seen but not proven (Jones, dkk, 2011).
This new normal is not a way of life that will continue to be lived by the community after the pandemic is over. However, it is more of a transition period before this pandemic situation is actually said to be over. This new normal period can be a form of resocialization for the community, later the habits given during the pandemic such as often washing hands and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can continue to become new habits in the future, the period after the corona pandemic is really over and life returns to normal as before. There will be new habits that are formed during the pandemic and post-pandemic.
There are many questions about what life will be like after this COVID-19 pandemic. There are several possibilities, such as changes in physical interactions and work patterns, in which during the pandemic, some people have gotten used to doing their activity remotely. Like online learning or working from home, after things return to normal (like before the pandemic) these online-based activities will be more widely applied in various institutions because of the flexibility they offer.
People’s attention to the environment will increase because they are aware that this pandemic is one of the causes of overexploitation of nature through the hunting of wild animals. In addition, people will try to maintain conditions in which the world’s pollution begins to decrease during the pandemic. People start thinking that they are not alone in this situation, the solidarity that arises because of the sense of togetherness in the same condition, and hoping this awareness will continue even until the pandemic is over. Humans realize that they live in a shared world and in order to maintain this, they need to be aware of each other to take care of each other.
I hope that we realize the concept of a shared world as expressed by a German philosopher, Hannah Arendt. The world is not only in a spatial mean but also as a condition that unites the world’s citizens with their collective will to live together. Humans realize that they live in a shared world and in order to maintain this, they need to be aware of each other to take care of each other. We do see this solidarity and witness it in our environment, for example, some people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and have now decided to start a business in order to make a living. Friends and family usually buy stuff sell-by another in hope that it can help their economy. There is also a “shopping movement among friends” in the marketplace on social media. This shows that humans have begun to show their faces as homo socius since the pandemic. Arendt wanted private interest to be replaced by public interest, solidarity before solitary. Because the public interest is the world’s interest to be able to maintain its inhabitants.
These are the predictions and hopes for life after this pandemic is over. Lots of waiting and also pending plans that many people are eager to realize soon. At least this can be a hope to continue to survive, together, in this condition.