Moral and Ideological Consequences of Pandemic

Original article

Oleg A. Donskikh,                            

Dr habil (Philosophy), PhD (Philosophy), Professor, Head of Department of Philosophy and Humanities, Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Novosibirsk State Technical University, Russia

Address: Kamenskaya st 56, Novosibirsk 630099, Russia


Article ID: 020510125

Published online: 30 January 2021




Quoting (Chicago style): Donskikh, Oleg A. 2020. “Moral and Ideological Consequences of Pandemic.” Beacon J Stud Ideol Ment Dimens 3, 020510125.

Language: Russian

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The pandemic influenced various aspects of social reality and made our future rather uncertain. The specificity of any epidemic is dissimilar with such national troubles as a war or natural disaster, because a disease does not unite people, but separates them. This is typical for the pandemics of the past that occurred repeatedly in human history, starting with the Athenian epidemic of 430 BC. A paradoxical situation arises now, during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. On the one hand, all citizens may be actually or potentially under control approved and legalised by the new ideology of “protection.” On the other hand, the essence of social control and means of administration change significantly, as the management itself begins to be administered by PC software. This software is not fully controlled by the political elites and governments. In these strange ideologically-determined conditions, the nature of moral, political and social responsibility is changing and there is a redistribution of rights and obligations. By degrees, moral and interpersonal relationships in a community give way to relationships that are completely determined and regulated from without the community.

Key words: COVID-19 pandemic, ideological control, new morality, new normality, post normality

Extended summary in English


During the pandemic, it is justified to track the movements of millions of infected people, to adopt the development of surveillance tools for all members of society and the introduction of more and more advanced PC algorithms, which would improve the quality of this surveillance. This trend is acquiring a new impetus and receiving additional funding in many countries. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was a good pretext for this. More and more effective and powerful means of controlling people are justified by new legislations adopted to “protect” people from the global threat. In particular, the quality of geo location programmes built in smartphones is constantly improving. Already at the present time, the leaders of various countries are receiving additional powers to bypass democratical rules and mechanisms of administration.


The analysis of moral and ideological consequences of the current Covid-19 pandemic, leads us to the following conclusions:


1. In contrast to natural and artificial disasters, epidemic situations do not unite, but divide people. In the situation of global uncertainty caused by the current pandemic, anxiety and, accordingly, suspicion of people grows. The habitual rationalism of a city dweller partially gives way to instincts. E.g., seeing masks instead of faces, a person reacts to them as to a generalised “alien.” Morally binding interpersonal relationships are being replaced by indifferent relationships between “masked personalities,” that have no facial expression due to wearing individual protective units and cannot smile to show their potential good will. Accordingly, the good will and warmth go away from interpersonal communication.

2. The tendency of population’s distrust towards authorities has increased substantially. In many cases during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the authorities were not only unable to protect their own population, but sometimes made decisions far from being adequate to the situation and responsible. The decline in trust, in turn, leads to an elevated confrontation between the top and bottom of society. As a result, conspiracy theories blossomed during the pandemic.

3. Feelings of isolation, uncertainty, stress, and heightened anxiety negatively affect family relationships, as evidenced by the rise in divorce rates.

4. The search for the guilty, which is a usual tendency during epidemics and pandemics, poisons relations between countries and peoples. However, new sentiments grow, aimed at rethinking relations in the context of the Spaceship Earth concept.

5. The transition of the education system to predominantly distance (online) learning leads to a decrease in the quality of education and to a surge of imitation activities.

6. The emergence of advanced computer technologies of social control is now justified in a number of countries by the need to track the movements of infectious patients. The development of surveillance and control technologies is on the rise. These technologies can be effectively used for constructing a society where traditional interpersonal relationships may be replaced by new depersonalised and dehumanised ones. The crowd of “encapsulated loners” certainly does not need any traditional social norms.

7. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic accelerated the transitional processes that shift the post-industrial type of society to a something different. The new type of society implies new principles of social stratification, social structure and social relations.

© 2020 Oleg A. Donskikh.
Licensee The Beacon: Journal for Studying Ideologies and Mental Dimensions.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( that permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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