COVID-19 Pandemic: The Two Sides of the Same Coin

Review Article

Austin Anthropol. 2021; 5(1): 1022.

COVID-19 Pandemic: The Two Sides of the Same Coin

Marinkovic S¹*, Arandelovic N², Levic E² and Tomic I³

¹Department of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

²Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Kallos University, Tuzla, Bosnia and Hercegovina

³Department of Art History, Academy of Fine Arts and Multimedia, Belgrade, Serbia

*Corresponding author: Slobodan Marinkovic, Department of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Subotic 4/2, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

Received: May 04, 2021; Accepted: May 27, 2021; Published: June 03, 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic appeared suddenly, spreading all over the globe, making an impact on all aspects of our lives, and astonishing the completely unprepared world governments and the health care systems. The aim of this review is to examine the present and future consequences of the pandemic’s psychological, social, political, economic and cultural impacts. Our lives have changed abruptly and dramatically. The high rates of morbidity and mortality, as well as the unpredictable duration of the pandemic, have caused anxiety and fear in many individuals. Facial masks wearing, distance keeping, the people gathering prohibition, and the introduction of quarantine and lockdowns, have profoundly distressed every single individual - of about 5.3 billion of the adult global population. However, designing and producing vaccines has been a great medical success. On the other hand, vaccine nationalism, the politization of the pandemic crisis, and vaccine hesitancy will continue to undermine the main epidemiological goal: a prompt and extensive vaccination of the global population, in the addition to the natural immunity of the survivors. Without a radical political and social reorganization, and individual behaviors changes regarding this crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic could last for several years.

Keywords: COVID-19; Ethics; Pandemic; Politics; Social behavior; Vaccination


Covid-19, following the involvement of the global population, has changed lives of every single human being on the planet with alterations of every aspect of living [1,2]. The impact of the pandemic has been medically and scientifically so urgent and challenging, that already over 125,000 articles on this subject have been published during the last year and a half. In this pandemic, many tragic destinies happened, and many bad and good individual and social behaviors appeared, with long-lasting consequences [3].

Thus, most of the infected patients are transported to Covid hospitals with no possibility to be visited by their families. In the grave stage of the disease, they die all alone. The lives of us who have not yet been infected have been turned upside down. In any case, entire humankind is in grave danger – in the biological, psychological, social, cultural, and economic sense.

The aim of this review is to examine the individual, social, political, ethical and moral impacts of the pandemic, and to predict the possible biological and social consequences for humankind. To do this, a large body of literature was retrieved by a selective search of several databases, predominantly Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Kobson, and PubMed. Publications were obtained by typing certain key words for each single aspect of this subject.

The Biological Aspect of the Pandemic

As already noted in our previous paper [4], every few years new viruses, or new strains of viruses and bacteria appear, which can cause local epidemics or global pandemics. This subject was also elaborated by some other authors [5-7]. One of the reasons for such events is the human devastation of certain ecosystems [5,7], and thus a close contact with infected wild animals, but also the biological struggle of microbes for their survival [7]. In any case, these events require new vaccines and medications, as well as certain epidemiological protection and prevention measures.

As cited by us, “The infectious agents are biologically very successful, so that our struggle against them will last forever” (cit. [4]). The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the novel Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) [8]), has fully confirmed our cited conclusion, that is, the existence of a permanent biological combat between humans and microbes.

At the beginning, COVID-19 generally showed a relatively mild course in 80%, a severe course in only 20 % of the patients, with a lethality rate of 0.3-5.8 % [9]. Soon after, however, the virus spread, and continuous to do so, very quickly, affecting almost every part of the globe. New strains are transmitted even more rapidly, raising the morbidity and mortality rates in adults, but also in the younger population.

In addition, this virus has another trait. Namely, some races and certain ethnic groups have shown different susceptibility to the infection. For instance, “Asians and Hispanics have much lower overall levels of risk compared with either Whites or Blacks” (cit. [10]). Yet, the most recent mortality rate in the Hungarian population, which is Asian in origin, and Czech of Slavic origin, were the highest in the European Union - EU ( statistics/1111779/ Coronavirus-death-rate-europe-by-country/). The reason for such disparities is unknown. Finally, the worst situation is occurring in India, mainly with Indo-Aryan people, where over 300,000 new patients are registered every day, due to the overpopulation, a low hygiene conditions, and certain religious procedures. It is without doubt that there is a true natural selection in progress [7].

Individual Behavior

Every individual on the planet has experienced more or less acute changes, including those of the general psychological state, e.g. moods and emotions, attitudes, opinions, personal wishes, planning, freedom, social relationships, the cultural domain, and economics [1,2,11,12]. Each of us have realized the uncertainty of our future, i.e. the danger of becoming seriously ill and even dying in a situation where dozens or more people are losing their lives within our community every single day. Unfortunately, our friends, relatives or even members of our families are occasionally among those.

Such a permanent, chronic stressful uncertainty about the future, the unpredictable pandemic duration and fear of death in a terrifying environment, may cause worry, anxiety, fear, despair, insomnia and occasionally depression, as well as posttraumatic stress disorder in survivors [2,13,14]. Many psychological defense mechanisms are activated, even substances abuse [1,14,15] ). Creativity, film watching, and music or drama psychotherapy in these and similar situations are some of the most useful methods to maintain our well-being, as shown in our previous article and some other publications [16,17].

The General Social Impact

The pandemic has influenced every single aspect of our personal and social lives [15]. Direct interpersonal relationships are greatly restricted, due to a necessary physical distance and social isolation (quarantine), so that people gathering is practically impossible for epidemiological reasons. As a consequence, restaurants, shopping centers, museums, art galleries, cinemas and concert halls, theatres and opera houses, and schools are closed. Sport matches are helding in empty stadia and other sport grounds, business and scientific meetings are postponed or replaced by safe video conferences, and various ceremonies and even private parties are forbidden [18]. Due to the social distance order, transportation is risky and complicated [19], and many tourist places are affected by the pandemic [20], so that most of us shall spend our summer vacation at home. Obviously, a complete social reorganization is necessary under these new circumstances [21].

Although technological progress, especially digital technology, has enabled communication at a high level by means of smart phones, the Internet, social networks, online platforms, and electronic media [22], there is a limited possibility of establishing direct contacts (Figure 1), which are extremely important for us as social beings. As a consequence, our social lives are thrown in disarray, sometimes to the level of lonelines, suffering, despair, depression, and even suicidal ideation in some cases [1,2,12,13,22,23].

Citation: Marinkovic S, Arandelovic N, Levic E and Tomic I. COVID-19 Pandemic: The Two Sides of the Same Coin. Austin Anthropol. 2021; 5(1): 1022.