Researcher Igone Guerra presents 8 societal lessons emerging from the COVID-19 crisis.

The explosive spread of COVID-19 has caught the world by surprise, and it couldn’t have exposed more clearly just how closely connected we are. The whole world has been united by a single word, COVID-19. Despite its negative consequences, the pandemic has offered some important lessons from which we can derive new and emerging knowledge.

1. The importance of investing in the Public Good.
The coronavirus crisis has brought to mind the unresolved financial crisis of 2008. That last crisis, and the austerity policies needed to overcome it, resulted in major cuts to public health systems, with serious consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of the population and society as a whole.

2. Social protection policies to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.
Representatives of the UN system agencies have called for urgent social protection measures to respond to COVID-19. According to the Social Protection Interagency Cooperation Board (SPIAC-B), social protection can play a key role in cushioning the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.

3. Now more than ever, Collaborative Governance is a must.
The extraordinary shock(s) to our system that the coronavirus pandemic is bringing invites us to rethink our systems of governing. In this context, governance gains momentum as a new way of functioning that implies distributing roles, defining practices and taking decisions in a collective form.

4. COVID-19. An opportunity to recover trust.
People need to trust science, public authorities and the media. Over the past few years, trust in these institutions has been undermined. As a consequence of this, today, trust is being called into question all over the world.

5. Data management in light of COVID-19.
Understanding COVID-19 is a global challenge. Many countries around the world are working on collecting as much data as possible, aimed at finding solutions to combat the virus. If data is always a key ingredient in decision-making, then it is needed even more now.

6. The importance of enhancing digitalisation.
COVID-19 is impacting countries right around the world, and digital solutions are emerging to mitigate the crisis. Many governments are taking seriously the shift from an analogue society to a digital one. The COVID-19 crisis has uncovered the need to further enhance digital infrastructure in the political, economic, social and cultural fields.

7. Combatting fake news.
COVID-19 is on the covers of newspapers, magazines and media all over the world. As fast as information spreads, so too does fake news, resulting in a serious danger to the public. We are aware that to help limit the spread of COVID-19, we should all be following recommendations such as maintaining social distancing and regularly washing our hands. Similarly, we should also be taking various ‘hygienic measures’ in terms of information.

8. Involving the community in the fight against COVID-19.
More than 750,000 people in the UK signed up to a recent call for health volunteers. Similar cases can be found in countries all over the world, which supports the idea that people everywhere are strongly committed to helping in the fight against COVID-19.

You can read the full text in english here.