COVID-19 Seen Under the Lenses of Social Sciences

The threat of COVID-19 started changing people’s lifestyles. First with having us keep our hands clean, minding our personal hygiene, and revitalizing our immune system with nourishment. While personal health and well-being are instinctively the individual’s top priority, people overlook to observe the bigger picture: their society.

While natural sciences are perceived by the many as “hard” sciences, some people mistakenly debase social sciences as a sheer integral component of the academe – a literal translation to a school of thought. If one would give a chance to perceive the world through the critical lenses of social sciences, that person would see how structured, complicated, and flawed the world they are living in.

People are too cavalier if they are privileged. Just because you are not directly impacted does not mean you should not care. Briefly wander your mind away from your personal biases; allow yourself to be permissive and inspect how the world revolves under the influence of social sciences.



The fear for the coronavirus has impaired the minds of the people before being infected by the virus itself. With technology and social media even more utilized by people to keep track of what the latest events and updates with the pandemic are, these tools also perpetuate room for hoaxes and misinformation. The fear of catching the disease is so intense to the extent people lose their rational and logical thinking that they resort to manifest selfishness as a means for survival. For example, two brothers have hoarded 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizers and began to sell them for higher than the retail price.

People began to stockpile disinfectants (such as hand sanitizers, alcohol, etc.), toilet papers, and even bottles of water in their homes. While it is advised to stock enough resources that can last for at least two weeks, the tension impedes people from making the right choices.

The human body is susceptible to being overwhelmed with stress as the body’s natural response to the stimulus; by continuously succumbing to stress, the mind and body suffer. One might feel body pain and exhaustion with stress and the mind gets aggravated with anxiety and fear. People start to imagine and paint pictures of the worst-case scenarios. For the younger generation, the experience might seed trauma similarly on how people are devastated after witnessing calamities, turning survivors as mortal legacies with the event tattooed as memories.



Let’s change gears and be a little savvy with economics. 

The birth of COVID-19 has made people examine their lifestyle, particularly with their needs and wants. People who are not big fans of hand sanitizers (with hand washing as their preference hopefully) have found the substance their holy grail.

With a plethora of U.S. citizens turning into germaphobes, there has been a shortage with hand sanitizers because there is a spike with the demand. The plight is however combated with the idea of handwashing. If the practice of hoarding would be normalized in the upcoming days however, the economy might fall down on a macro level.

The COVID-19 debacle has been hurting the economy with stock markets declining, levels of unemployment soaring rapidly, and small and medium businesses at risk over the loss of revenue.



If you believe geography is merely an option of the General Education Requirements and has nothing to do with the coronavirus, think again.

Geography plays a huge role primarily with the Geographic Information System (GIS), or simply the illustrations that you see upon opening Google Maps, Uber, and Waze. Other than location and navigation, GIS is critical in real time as it serves as a vital tool in tracking the areas and the vicinity where the virus has already spread. Where you are right now at this very moment plays a crucial role in the proximity of the virus, so you might as well stay vigilant.

To minimize the risk of transmission, an effort to restrict non-essential activities was imposed by California Gov. Newsom. This includes face-to-face schooling so classes have transitioned online and companies are giving options for their employees to work from home. Strict compliance is expected in confidence to control the number of cases

Additionally, geography and tourism are being impacted because of COVID-19 – people shun the intention of traveling let alone going out of the houses.  Following the issuance of a level 4 global travel advisory,  the United States has issued a travel ban to 26 European countries


To be candid, COVID-19 gave credence to racism.

 A prime example is President Donald Trump believing that calling the virus “kung flu” and “Chinese virus” is not racist. While the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the name for the virus strain as COVID-19, President Trump presents no qualms in calling it by that name since the virus came from China, ultimately using the coined term on his tweets.

First, calling COVID-19  the Chinese virus is inaccurate, the similar way Spanish Flu did not originate from Spain. Radio host David Pakman explained how the name “Spanish flu” was coined after the said flu became popular in that specific country, while it is believed to originate either from Kansas, France, or China. Given this analogy, he said the COVID-19 is therefore supposed to be called the “European flu” because it spread prevalently in Europe among other parts of the world.

Second, calling it the “Chinese virus” raises stigma against Asian Americans. Calling the virus on that name is a rhetoric that blazes xenophobia towards the Asian Community, particularly Chinese Americans. Recently, a video that was filmed in Target at the Serramonte Center and was posted on the internet, where a Filipino was being yelled at by two shoppers for coughing. Believing to be carrying the virus as an Asian is totally uncalled for. More importantly, under no circumstance that these are considered grounds for public humiliation.

Lastly, this racist act demolishes the solidarity of the American Community as a whole. What emerges from this tactic is a division among different ethnic groups, brushing off trust and respect to other ethnic groups because of fallacies and misinformation.

Digressing away from racism, the issues surrounding COVID-19 could be dissected under the sociological lens because of the discrepancies between the rich and the poor. This might sound very textbook-like for some readers, but it is true. Not everyone enjoys the same bragging rights and privileges. People with no insurance would have to deal with hospital bills if they got infected. Homeless people find the streets their shelter-in-place. Employees would either have no pay, lose their job or get to work from home. Opulence is a factor of who goes first or who gets first, as seen on how extensive care is given to those with haves versus have nots.

As units in society, a change within our lifestyle could make a big positive change if it is done collectively. By simply being mindful of the things you post in social media (particularly content that exaggerates and flourishes hatred and misinformation; hoaxes and clickbait) would soothe the woes and anxiety of people by lulling the storm on one’s mind. Individual actions are never seen as futile as phenomena such as popular culture.



Some people are all radiant and optimistic thinking that 2020 will be their year. However, 2020 welcomed us with a bang and series of unfortunate events occurring within the year’s first quarter: the bushfires in Australia that lasted for months,  the tension between Iran and the United States, the eruption of Taal Volcano in the Philippines that calls for evacuation, the Earthquake that struck Puerto Rico and devastated homes, and of course, the outbreak of COVID-19 among others. Soon, all of these will be embedded in textbooks as well as being taught in every classroom.

Reports regarding the development of the COVID-19 pandemic is disseminated as swiftly as possible. Therefore, what happens today becomes the past – how humanity will manage this crisis would be looked back by the future generation as part of their family history.

From politics to news, up to personal accounts experienced within this era, it will all trickle down and manifest how the current generation suffered, learned, and fought to survive and breed a lineage bearing the wisdom we earned from our life experience.

Nobody knows what lies ahead of us, but it does not mean we cannot be ready. And if we do make it to the end, people might grow eruditely to avoid making the same mistakes that this generation has had to deal with.

If truth is a matter of perception and perspective, then one has many realities to choose from.