Corona Society of Distance

The total of the distancing rules was a disruptive experience. The world was closed. Public life frozen. Since then, ‘distance’ has become a question of personal attitude and conduct in terms of ‘getting along’ with each other.

Corona – Forum for Ditance

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Distance rules limit the interaction in public space – physically. Subliminally, they also continue and deepen the longterm practice of social distance.

Public behavior is getting monitored and evaluated. It becomes a statement for getting positioned and classified.

In review: Lockdown as “primal” experience

In the lockdown the world was ‘barred’. Ghastly emptiness in the streets, eerie silence. Everything “out of order”, frozen, shut down. The ‘turnover’ and the common bond in which life takes place: going out, shopping, working, meeting, school – the whell of daily life disrupted.
The distance between people and things and stores was virtually immeasurable.

This radical stop of normal life is unsettling in a culture enabling ‘everything to run’ side by side for decades. A situation so far only occuring in fairy tales, disaster movies and war zones – and thus does not augur well.

The immediate and universally communicated package of emergency measures and financial rescue and containment kept people from experiencing this as nearing ‘collapse’.

Social Distancing: The other as a person of suspect

Since then a kind of vote of no confidence pervades the encounter with the others, each of whom may or may not be a potential corona infected person.

Resulting into constant monitoring of public behavior: Do you comply with the rules? Is what you are doing right, reckless, dangerous, exaggerated?

Exactly this becomes the turning point. Behavior becomes a more strategic move.

No matter how unconcerned or downplayed, the behavior “says” explicitly how one holds it with corona and the rules and it “does” something by being next to each other, letting oneself be given priority, evading, etc. Each time new and situational (whether alone or in pairs, in families, groups, etc.).

Public as a forum for power experiments

Having to follow rules challenges self-positioning – e.g. complying, protesting or functionalizing Corona rules in social situations.

The simplest things can be used as a provocative device for ‘clashes’ or media headlines. From not wearing a mask, to family events, parties to demonstrating for civil rights for normality.

The masses discover their ‘herd power’ getting away with much and rarely facing ‘penalties’ – also in order not to antagonize them and others due to the imposed restrictions.


Tipping points:The power of the masses?

Traditional German values such as stability, security and industriousness motivate ‘limiting damage through normality’. As if the ‘omnipresence’ of the masses was a counter magic to the pandemic of the virus – the many against the many.
The ‘energy’ built up due to the restrictions is looking for ‘outlets’ to ensure a feeling of stable grounds.