Sociology of the COVID-2019 Pandemic in the United States

From the beginning of the year 2020, a new wave of COVID 19, a respiratory virus hit the entire globe. Towards the end of January, the World Health Organization declared the disease a major health concern only to later declare the same a pandemic on March 11. Due to the complex nature of the issue, the entire global population has had to adjust their livelihoods in order to match the severance of the virus. Since the inception of the virus, the entire world has been marred with travel implications as well as other cautionary measures, as a means of curbing the spread of the disease. The virus has brought about many sociological impacts, factors that had completely changed the way they think and carry out themselves. The world’s social hiatus has been overturned, breeding a new wave of sociological impacts, that have seen human beings take a step back and evaluate their position, as the virus does respect one’s status in the community. The entirety of the research is to shed enough light on the sociological implications of COVID-19 on the American population and its institutions.

Sociology entails the manner in which institutions relate with the institutions put in place. The subject of sociology is quite broad and covers different fields that make up the human race. The discipline incorporates family, governments, religions and impacts of crime on all of the above. It also covers the interdependence of culture and race and their implications on the government. Basically, sociologists are at the centre of everything that revolves around mankind. Since the deterioration of COVID-19, sociologists have called on the government to lay down stringent policies to avert further spread of the disease (Velavan 278). Sociologists have the wellbeing of all parties in the United States, and must therefore strive to build and maintain a balance between them. They have been at the forefront of criticizing President Trump for not cooperating with other governments to fight the virus together, but have opted to do so alone. Sociologists have also fronted many suggestions on how the government ought to respond to the virus as well as advising citizens on what to and not to do. 

Firstly, the human nature of togetherness, cohesion and interaction has suffered a major blow since the onset of the pandemic. Humans are social beings who love being around one another, an attribute that has completely been altered by the virus. Since COVID-19 was declared to be a pandemic, many public spaces have been closed, while those that remain open have urged their visitors to strictly maintain social distancing (Hanson). Hand greetings are also a thing of the past, as they have been limited to waving and other gestures. Those who find pleasure in giving and receiving hugs have forgotten their hobby, as limited to contact with the next person is largely discouraged. Additionally, many countries closed their airports, ports and other border points to prevent the entry of person into their countries. This includes the closure of cities through enactment of curfews to restrict the movement of people. The move by the governments to restrict movement of people has played a tremendous role in curtailing the spread of the virus, though it has had huge implications on the daily lives of persons across the world. Those without insurance to cushion them during the trying times have suffered, as they barely could meet their basic amenities. However, there are some governments that have played a tremendous role in ensuring that all citizens have access to food and clean drinking water irrespective of their financial status. 

The extent of the spread of COVID-19 has also diminished the trust citizens have for their governments. In some countries, political and economic statues of the government will not get back to where it was before.  Due to the deadly nature of the pandemic, citizens owed it to their governments to cushion them from the disease. President Trump has been at loggerheads with many American citizens as well as congressional leaders on his approach to combat spread of the disease. The same case prevails in all countries which preferred economic growth at the expense of their citizens (Gharehgozli 566). A classic case of such instances are countries who continued to allow the entry of airplanes from virus stricken areas. Such governments were dreaded economic backlog, at the expense of their citizens, while there are those who feared eroding diplomatic ties with each other. In such cases, the government will have to survive the strained relations will its citizens, with majority of sitting leaders being dethroned in upcoming elections.

Another sociological implication of the respiratory virus is on crippling workplaces, educational institutions and even schools. The workplace environment has taken the biggest blow since the pandemic was announced as majority of them were shut down. The hospitality industry was hit the hardest as many hotels and tourist destinations had to close down (McKibbin). To ensure the sustainability of such places, many employees have had to take a pay cut, or they have been let go altogether. Workers in such institutions continue to cry foul, as many lacked alternative sources of income. The closure of the businesses has not only had a sociological implication, but has also brought many financial delinquencies. The local sector depending on tourism has also taken a major blow since the directive to cancel all flights. The working environment has also been immensely altered as majority of people have had to work from home. Many corporations have maintained productivity of their firms by allowing their workers to work from home. Only freelancers were used to working from anywhere, and so many have struggled to maintain their usual targets due to the vast distractions at home. The conventional office environment allows interaction between workmates, which has been completely overturned since the inception of the pandemic. Interactions between workmates have been reduced to video calls and other forms of social media platforms.  

As it has mentioned across all kind of media, the population that is mostly at risk of suffering complications due to the Covid-19 disease is older adults, Mortality rates are even higher in cases where the victims have underlying medical conditions (Gerke 4). That having been said, comparing the average age of America older adults to average older adults in the UK, it is evident that former has many people at that age bracket than the latter. What’s more, most of the individuals at these ages in the country have been diagnosed with disease such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and related respiratory diseases. This puts them in an even more peculiar situation when compared to other countries thus explaining the high mortality rates.

Onwards, the healthcare system capacity to admit and take care of patients is another important aspect that should be taken into consideration when determining the response. As example, China never anticipated the epidemic (Liu). Once, they started to realize its effects on their social, economic, and political lives, it necessitated the government to build a hospital in a matter of weeks. In this context, statistic indicate that the United States had limited workforce and hospital bed capacities by the time patients started to flood in the healthcare facilities. In truism, this meant that the healthcare sector would be stretched further compared to the commonwealth countries. On the upside, although there was a low supply of hospital resources, this was cancelled by the low rates of bed occupancy which meant that the country had adequate resources to deal with an emergency situation.

Affordability of healthcare services is the most essential consideration before seeking any kind of diagnosis and treatment. As such, the Covid-19 pandemic required countries respond effectively by ensuring that detection of the virus was affordable, accessible and timely (Pearce 1061). Compared to other nations, citizens in the United States, especially older adults, claimed that they had to forego going to hospitals because it was expensive. Based on recent data, citizens in the Commonwealth countries were more likely to make hospital visits to the hospital for tests, medicine or treatments, than in the United States. However, this changed after it was announced that citizens in the US get insured against Covid-19.

Nearly half of the |American citizens believe that the nation needs to learn from what’s going on in other countries and take important lessons from the same. There are opposing views when it comes to deciding how the United Kingdom dealt with the pandemic (Bhimraj). In the eyes of most Americans, many are divided. For example, taking the case of Italy, although at the beginning they seemed to have misjudged the crisis, their reaction and implementation of lockdowns and shutdowns led to a reduction in the infection rates (Tuite 537). Regarding their country’s reaction, most adult Americans are in support of the fact that the administration has done a good job in handling the outbreak. However, there is political inclement to this data with those in support of an excellent job done identified as Democrats or those in support of the party and the rest as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents. That said, there is no doubt that views about the administration’s response on the pandemic are divided across partisan lines in the United States

To conclude, with the pandemic spreading fast, it was just a matter of time before it started to sweep beyond borders. Different nations have reacted differently to the crisis with each succeeding to varying degrees. From the American perspective, countries such as Germany and South Korea have done well to at least combat the spread of then deadly virus. Conversely, China, from whence the disease is believed to having originated has done a poor job so far in improving the health situation. To effectively contrast the performance of the United States administration in combating the pandemic with other countries, factors such as population at risk, health capacities to hold the sick, and affordability of medical services for the basis of analysis.