Tough measures for imponderable risks

Temporarily shutting down or restricting social life and systems makes it possible to experience the so far rather invisible barriers set to individualism and self-efficacy.

The Corona Crisis Puts the Individual in “Upside-Down” Measures

Unlike the usual course of events, in which the world crises “run along” without directly interfering with the “operating system” of everyday life, with COVID-19 a “Black Swan” virus leverages our otherwise adaptable system and does so unpredictably over a longer period of time.

Instead of “open” multi-optional society, conduct decrees from above. Mobility and the right to have a say are now shifting to discussions among the “people’s representatives” about the individual measures, and in this they also make the general “disunity” of the current overall culture perceptible.

The individual is unexpectedly socialized and must “bear” the consequences, regardless of how it came about and regardless of whether it affects him or not. The well-rehearsed social systems and privileges are relativized for an uncertain time.

Psychologically, conveying the threat and justifying the factual restrictions is difficult. Those who are neither directly “affected” by the virus nor know anyone personally affected must accept the factuality via the media.

Not the “big world” and its crises, but the “small” one of a virus brings local and global to its knees like a ‘Black Swan’


This seems all the more disconcerting as most do not experience the virus directly in any form of “reality”, but the (deadly) consequences mostly only via the media – so that the risk of infection as a factor represents reality. The threat seems almost “unreal” in relation to the fact that most people do not notice it, and only becomes a supporting experience through collective solidarity.

Daily adjustment between keeping distance and getting close

Conforming to rules – less pleasure, less risk ↔ Feeling free and free in nature – easygoing “fountain of youth” in the outdoors

An unprecedented level of control and regulations simply to move in public space. “Face protection” – subliminal association with surveillance, facial recognition, etc.  Withdrawal symptoms reveal driving needs


Withdrawal symptoms reveal driving needs

Lockdown and distance rules are psychologically like “withdrawal,” often cold turkey from one day to the next. They make it possible to experience collectively on a broad basis what parts of the population increasingly have to deal with in other ways, e.g. with the restrictions of social mobility (“descent society”; “precariat”; etc.).