Ivan Krastev: The virus reminded modern man that he is mortal


The pandemic with COVID-19 reminded us of our mortality as humans, because modern man does not think about death, said Ivan Krastev in the bTV show “120 minutes”. The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 shattered people’s perceptions of living in an orderly world. Many things are changing physically, said the political analyst.

The political scientist, identified in 2008 by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the 100 most influential intellectuals in the world, has completed his new book, “Is Tomorrow Already?” during the crisis. In his work, he defines the COVID-19 crisis as the greatest social experiment that will happen in our lives.

“After the quarantine is imposed, you start asking yourself questions and realizing how many such epidemics have changed the world. Studies show that the famous Spanish flu killed twice as many people as during the First World War. The epidemics changed the world, but they are not remembered. because the sense of reality is lost. 80,000 books have been written about the First World War and only 400 about the Spanish flu, “Krastev said.

This can be explained by the fact that people have a strong intolerance of meaningless death. “Death during a war is heroic, and we can’t tell it during an epidemic,” Krastev said, noting that a huge problem with a pandemic is that you can’t bury people, your own loved ones can’t send you away, Krastev said.

The crisis has shown that people seek expert opinion about their health, but choose the specialists they can trust, as they choose a party or a football team, the political scientist believes. According to him, opinions about the measures during the quarantine were highly polarized because people experience tragedies and fear very differently.

Krastev paid special attention to the study of which regimes deal better with the threat – the democratic or the authoritarian, but his conclusion is that the form of government is not very important in this situation.

Three factors have proven to be much more important in the fight against coronavirus. The first is public confidence in the government. There are no police to make people wash their hands, for example. The second thing is previous experience. It is no coincidence that Asian countries have been better prepared because they have recently faced epidemics such as SARS. The third is the efficiency of the organization – for example, how quickly you will hand out the masks, said the political scientist.

The problem with this crisis is that you cannot escape it and you have to show real results. People can compare the results in their countries with the results of other countries, he added.

According to Krastev, the pandemic will change our world, which is why he has chosen “Tomorrow is it already?” As the title of his book. And maybe tomorrow has already happened, says the political scientist.

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