The professor of Sociology at the UA, Juan Antonio Roche, affirms that the changes that have occurred in the behavior of the population will not be permanent.
The Spanish population, and in particular the mediterranean culture, has always been characterized by good humor, affection and bodily closeness. But if the pandemic has shared something around the world, it is the use of the mask and social distancing as a barrier to paralyze its transmission.
These measures have meant both positive and negative changes in the behavior of individualsas well as in their way of thinking and feeling. The professor of Sociology of Culture and the Arts at the University of Alicante, Juan Antonio Roche, thinks that the feeling of individualism, the tendency to act for one’s own good, without taking into account the opinion of others.
In addition, the creation of denialist currents about the Covid, disseminators of fakes news and the increase in cases of gender violence.
But the pandemic has also highlighted other positive aspects of society. The growth of solidarity or the desire to empathize with the most vulnerable sectors of the population are some examples of good practice.
“The children of older people have distanced themselves from them to protect their parents from the disease because they love them,” adds Juan Antonio Roche. Another affable example has been the improvement in relations between cohabitants of the same family; fathers and mothers who have invested quality time in their children.
What is clear is that the virus has brought out the best and the worst version of the human being. But, Roche thinks that the changes that have occurred in society’s behavior will not be structural. That is, they will not remain stable over time. “When this returns to normal, what we will find is a consumerist species with an intensified desire to go outside.”
Lack of resilience
In the Spanish Civil War people were at war for three years. People who lived through that time saw their parents, children and friends die. In addition, to survive the famine, the postwar period and the complete destruction of the country. “We have been since 2019, with a significantly less dramatic situation and in our homes, with food guaranteed.” Of course, during the pandemic some have had better luck than others.
Since 1945, Western societies have had a sustained growth. What some authors like Serge Latouche have described as society of abundance. “In general, we have less tolerance for suffering than past generations, and the pandemic has caught us all by surprise.”
Juan Roche thinks that when everything returns to normal, the Spanish will be like before. “We are emotional beings and we need to be on the street. Closeness, affection and hugs are part of our collective identity. Alicante is a festive town, and it needs its Fogueres.