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  • Claire Le Compagnon

How Covid 19 impacted our cultural values

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

I have been thinking about how the crisis we are going thru has impacted the world in so many ways. I don't have answers at that point, and I might never have any. But I have a lot of questions and I try to look at things from a distance as much as I can. I have been observing societies and people behaviors this past year... Bear with me, I don't want to judge anyone, I'm just observing and trying to understand here...

How much is the context we Iive in, influencing our cultural values framework, and amazingly so rapidly?

Think about the US, land of freedom, individual rights, which is one of the most Individualistic country in the world. Emphasis has been put on your individual goals and rights for centuries. Suddenly, because the context has dramatically changed with Covid 19, it's all about the group survival and your individual lens has bursted into pieces. I believe we understand the reasons why we needed to temporarily shift. But will it be temporary or will it affect the society long term?

I was recently reminded that shaking hands when you meet someone is originally coming from people showing their hand "free of any weapon" to each other. Literally, I won't do any harm to you. This past year, shaking hands has become a potential weapon to human, as you might transmit the virus to friends, business partners, family. How crazy is it, that a gesture that once was a sign of peace between two people, is now the most dangerous thing you could do? And will we ever come back to where we were? Time will tell, I don't know, I'm part of the play and witnessing it at the same time.

Another interesting example to me is the capacity to project yourself in the future, being short-term or long-term depending on your cultural values. Do we think people across the globe have the capacity to plan long term right now? Very few of them I believe... If I was to ask my French fellows what they are planning to do this summer, I bet they would look at me like I have lived under a rock this past year. This crisis has changed so dramatically the context we live in, that it has undoubtedly impacted our cultural framework.

Will it be a long term impact, will it influence our capacity to project ourselves in the future and plan? Will it impact our capacity to take risks? Will it change the way we look at the group & community rights and duties versus our individual rights and duties?

Interesting times we are living in right now, forcing both societies and individuals to find new solutions and therefore change their traditions, and cultural preferences. I don't know yet what to think of all of this, I'm part of it myself. But I'll keep on observing from a distance as much as I can to build my personal point of view.

France Street Art (DHOA), by Leopold Le Compagnon

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