I look at my society and I see the people. I see who they are, who they were and where they are now. So where are we heading?
Ever since the pandemic of our lifetime hit us, every single country has found its own way to deal with it. The range is wide and spans from complete lockdown to not care at all. But the universal fallout – irregardless of measures taken has been mass-unemployment, a recession compared and in some cases toppling the 1929 version and last but perhaps most important – the impact on us who live and survive during this pandemic.
We have lost someone. We know someone who lost someone. We know someone who was sick. We know someone who is struggling with it now. We know someone who survived. We hear about it on the news, we follow the pandemic fallout live online. We all know.
I ask myself why and what can be done? We are for the first time in modern history facing the same threat – irregardless of socioeconomic status, skin colour or religious belief.
We could unite on a global scale, instead of pointing fingers and questioning others. We could find acceptance for the pandemic. We could co-operate on a much more sophisticated level than now.
We could ask the dear leaders of Belarus, Turkmenistan and North Korea how they battled this pandemic so well. Or maybe not. Perhaps we could topple them instead.
But to be more serious – we are facing an economic recession that we haven’t seen in our lifetime. The consequences of this recession is hard to calculate, but to put it simply – when someone loses his/hers/its social status, a job and cannot afford to pay the rent – there is a staggering risk of suicide or turning violent. When you have nothing left you go to extreme lengths. When you are out of hope you let life slip away.
The lockdown, paired with unemployment increases the risk of domestic abuse. It doesn’t require a quantified, peer-reviewed paper to state that. How much then? We don’t know. But a “shitload” as one womens refuge shelter alarmed.
And that’s just the beginning – the activity on DarkNet has increased significantly. With live child sex-abuse reaching 400% over the same period last year (Source: SVT, the Swedish Police). It’s the perfect storm in the shittiest boat for those most vulnerable in our society – women and children at the hand of their abusers. The number is global – according to researchers at Lund’s university in southern Sweden – since DarkNet is universal with people from all over the world. We may never know the grayzone – those who aren’t reported to the police or discovered online.
All the components of lockdown, home-schooling, unemployment and the tristess are each an individual trigger – when combined new offenders emerge that would perhaps not have done such acts.
So the world is in disarray. We try to find our new normal, we try to re-open, we try to survive. We must mourn those we lost. But we must also take a good look at what measures each state subjects upon its citizens, since the dire consequences produced will be something we will have to treat and rehabilitate for the rest of our lifetime.
On top of that, there is a penal system that needs to work on all cases reported and handing out sentences. And the people working with the cases – doctors reporting injuries, investigators who has to live through each trauma and try to sort it out. A prison system modelled after taking care of the abusers in a suitable way. Families torn apart, new one’s forming and a major shift in society.
Do you remember #metoo? It had some results, some justice. But think about the number of stories #metoo created – then insert it into the context of what we are dealing with now.
Don’t be afraid to report if you hear something. Be aware of the problem. Be part of the solution. It’s your civic duty and house duty to rest assured that as few as possible goes through this unhurt. Whenever you hear someone scream, an uncommon noise, a changed pattern, a bruise, a change in the way people talk – dare to ask. Ask if there is something you should be aware of. Ask if someone needs your help. Ask what is going on behind that closed door. Do it. For yourself, for your fellow citizens and for the sake of humanity.