The Covid Culture Shock
By India Haldane, Year 12
What is it that has everyone feeling a little thrown for a loop lately? Feeling chaotic, unsettled, even upset? As India Haldane (Y12) argues - it may be a case of what is known as 'culture shock' - but occurring right here at home.
Culture shock is typically known as something for people who’ve moved across countries, right? It shouldn’t apply to you unless you’ve packed up your house and jumped on an aeroplane. But there is this one emotion we are all feeling right now; it doesn’t really have a name, but it is the uncertainty and terrifying nature of the Covid-19 situation New Zealand is currently facing.
Here's what I propose: we are all going through a minor form of culture shock.
Masks, sanitising, and covid tests are all another culture- one we were expected to adopt rapidly and without hesitation. Moving countries is about the same (trust me, I know - I grew up in Amsterdam). It is all unknown and new, and to be fair it's pretty scary. Covid 19 is a whole new way of life, and the way we keep flicking back and forth between lockdown and relative freedom is very confusing, almost like moving countries back and forth again and again.
If you think about it, the practices Covid-19 force us to undertake are very much a culture of its own. Masks- the traditional dress. Sanitising- a common practice you are expected to follow. Getting a test- the way to ensure you are seen as ‘acceptable’ by testing negative; if you are positive, you’re the talk of the town.
The shock of the new is always scary; it gives off a level of uncertainty we all feel but tend to ignore. We can’t ignore, however, the effect lockdown has been having on everyone's mental health. Try to reach out to a friend and let them know that everyone is a little overwhelmed with everything going on- one day you are living your normal life and the next you’ve been culture-shocked by covid.
We’ve been doing it for three years now (has anyone been keeping count? It feels like an eternity) but it's still crazy on and off, so it feels like as soon as we settle back into life- BAM ! Another outbreak, another culture shock into masks and sanitising.
Overall, Covid 19 is a wave of uncertainty- it's scary, funny, depressing and something we all want gone. Over time we will adjust to the idea of presenting a vaccine pass and scanning in, but for now?
Welcome to the Covid culture shock.
Print, digital and audiovisual loans
Reader's advisory services
Print and copying facilities
Individual, group and class lessons