Health and Degrowth in times of Pandemic
The emergence of the pandemic is connected to the overexploitation of human and natural systems caused by uncontrolled economic growth. The main negative consequences of the current growth-based system (inequalities and environmental degradation) are impacting dramatically on COVID-19 deaths. However, the biomedical system frames the disease in a way that hides its social and environmental origins, focusing on the war against the virus, and thus contributing to restore the current socio-economic order.
The pandemic spread like a psychic infection and created fear and paranoia, that could be related to the fear of nemesis for the hybris of western society. In the presence of a miniscule virus, our whole world was creaking, science reacted confusedly and was not able to protect us from death. We faced the failure of the myth of growth and of the "religion of medicine". However, to abandon our beliefs in a crisis period is too challenging and, as individuals and nations, we put into practice some excessive measures, which could be seen as ritual of reparation and atonement, in order to regain the feeling of being able to control the situation.
From a degrowth point of view, it would be necessary to look deeply inside ourselves and recognize the hybris and fear of nemesis that acted on the collective unconscious. That would mean recognizing our faults and being able to address them, rather than projecting our fear and rage towards external objects.
- Aillon, J. L., & Cardito, M. (2020). Health and Degrowth in times of Pandemic. Visions for Sustainability, 14, 3-23.