Dmitry Popov 1
  • 1 Omsk Academy of the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation, Komarova str. 7, Omsk, Russian Federation 644092

Vita COVIDa as a Biopolitical Modality of Life in a Pandemic

2022, vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 82–104 [issue contents]
The pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection has formed a special biopolitical modality of life, that of vita COVIDa. Biopolitics, the tools of which the authorities turned to in a pandemic, re-assembled the social space, thus changing the flow of social time. In this accelerated mode, the path from isolation through quarantine to vaccination has been completed. Historically-proven tools to combat the pandemic have been consistently combined. What was new was the appeal to the arsenal of modern digital technologies which made it possible to create a unique flexible barrier environment and control the process of the immunization of the population. Vita COVIDa was a form of further restriction of active life (vita activa). During the pandemic, consumption increased as an aspect of the work managed by animal laborans; there is a lack of creative activity carried out by homo faber; and there is a collapse of public space, leading to a pseudo-political virtual polemic in which a person gets bogged down as a zoon politikon. In conditions when the contemplative life (vita contemplativa) is captured by the effect of stickiness in the interpassivity mode, vita COVIDa slides to routine work and hyper-consumption, increasingly assigning the priority role of animal laborans to a person. The special spaces of the stationary (“Red Zone” or “camp of life”) and mobile (QR code) camps, formed in the mode of an undeclared state of emergency, produce a “naked life” (vita nuda). The increasing tension creates prerequisites for the invasion of the friend/enemy political-identifier proper into social relations, situationally assigning the status of homo sacer to persons whose modus operandi is perceived as risky. Foucault understood racism is actualized in the biopolitical space of the pandemic. The contradictory trends of the pandemic should be considered within the framework of the Esposito immunization paradigm, in which the pandemic with its threats of social collapse should be considered as something that requires an immune response in the form of a coordinated response of the authorities and the population to the threats of social collapse. The intense confrontations between humanity and disease and between the authorities and the population in the field of imposed restrictions and responsible adoption of the proposed measures lead to the need to develop co-vida vita (co-life) as a way of living and overcoming vita COVIDa during the return to the “old” new normality.
Citation: Popov D. (2022) Vita COVIDa kak biopoliticheskaya modal'nost' zhizni v pandemiyu [Vita COVIDa as a Biopolitical Modality of Life in a Pandemic]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 21, no 2, pp. 82-104 (in Russian)
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