The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has generated an international medical crisis that has resulted in a profound influence on how we perceive daily lives and personal interrelations. This has gone a long way to creating sociological effects on individuals, families, and society. The levels of contagion, coupled with its means of transmission, threaten people’s sense of enhanced connections (Kadian, p. 1169). Safety measures implemented across the globe to curb the spread of COVID-19 necessitate social distancing by obliging people to desist from actions that are intrinsically human such as finding solace in the company of other people, shaking hands, congregating in ceremonies such as parties, funerals, and weddings. The arising social and physical distancing, in addition to public alarm, has had a negative sociological influence both on a personal and societal level. Enhancing research into the cause of the coronavirus disease and the best vaccine or treatment approach will have an enormous influence on people’s social lives and assist in creating a better world for future cohorts.
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Apart from the negative sociological consequences of quarantine and being isolated from their friends and family members, the people affected by COVID-19 and their relatives have a high likelihood of experiencing psychological effects. This is attributable to the afflictive course of the disease, dread of death, and the impact of witnessing other people dying. Moreover, COVID-19 survivors experience adverse psychosocial effects caused by feelings of guilt and shame (for example, from the transmission of the disease to other people) and blame or stigmatization from members of their community. Some of the survivors may even be expelled, assaulted, or segregated by their communities and families because of being perceived as tainted and unsafe, which further worsens the sociological effects (Kadian, p. 1171). Moreover, contacts of the people infected with coronavirus also suffer seclusion and stigmatization. Witnessing the painful course of COVID-19 in others may lead to nervousness and fear of getting sickness and dying besides sentiments of loss and sorrow from the demise of loved ones. Such psychological effects go a long way to diminishing the socialization of the affected individuals.
Isolation of the infected individuals from their loved ones makes their family members not be with them as they are suffering and times dying. This makes family members have sentiments of grief, distress, liability, or helplessness for the inability to care for or comfort their sick relatives. Such feelings have a comparable negative influence on the social life of the family members. Furthermore, although quarantining procedures decrease coronavirus transmissions, they also result in stigmatization and community segregation (Núñez et al, p. 119). Fear, distrust, isolation, quarantines, and lockdown have been significant factors that weaken social ties within the family or society. The COVID-19 pandemic has also acted as a social calamity of enormous dimensions through such approaches as decreasing economic engagements, increasing joblessness, business closure, high poverty level, and augmented food insecurity.
Forced quarantine of asymptomatic contacts has busted the already broken social fabric by eliciting fears and mutual mistrust that hinder interactions and assistance in health-seeking activities. In some instances, there has been social resistance caused by coercive measures set to minimize the spread of the disease, and this has led to the fragmentation of society. Cremation of bodies is another measure that has been implemented in some countries in their efforts to decrease transmission. In such states, government officials assert that the number of deaths from COVID-19 is so high that such practices as cremation are needed (Kadian, p. 1173). Nonetheless, in some cases, members of the family and society in which the deceased belonged have condemned the manner in which it was enforced and the perhowon. They feel that continued cremation even following decreased rate of fatalities when safe and dignified burials are deemed feasible has a negative sociological effect in communities. This is because they have been used to gathering to comfort the family that is mourning the death of their loved one and offering their last respect to the deceased.
Health care professionals elucidate that the major reason behind cremation is the conviction that funerals are locally hazardous, and people have been handling bodies precariously. Nonetheless, concerns of a high number of people demonstrate a high level of flexibility within societies in various practices (Núñez et al, p. 121). People have a feeling that throughout the pandemic, safe and ennobled funerals ought to be practiced as a vivid indication of respect and comprehension of the intricate social, cultural, and spiritual worth of the deceased. Cremation, for instance, could have been practiced as a temporary action and planned through the engagement of society, especially local leaders and family members of the dead.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has generated a global medical crisis that has resulted in a reflective influence on how we recognize daily lives and individual interrelations. Cremation, quarantine, and being isolated from friends and family members have negative sociological impacts on the people affected by COVID-19, their relatives, and society. Enhancement of research into the basis of the coronavirus disease and the best vaccine or treatment approach will have a significant influence on people’s social lives and help in creating an improved world for future generations.
- Kadian, Jitesh. “A New Emerging Pandemic COVID-19: Its Social, Legal and Economical Impact on India.” UGC CARE Journal, vol. 31, no. 8, 2020, pp. 1166-1182.
- Núñez, Ana, et al. “Responding to Healthcare Disparities and Challenges with Access to Care during COVID-19.” Health Equity, vol. 4, no. 1, 2020, pp. 117-128.