Changing Philosophies in Covid Times. By Debbie Davies, Southern California.


This is Debbie's original artwork, a visual representation of her informants responses to her questions about living in Covid Times.


I analyzed my fieldwork through the concept of belief systems as the most relevant to the thesis of possible changes in philosophies of my informants. From class, quoting Lisa Feder, it states, “…Beliefs help manage anxiety and control the unknown;…Beliefs reinforce, modify, or control the social order; [and]…Beliefs mobilize groups and individuals to get through transitions, crises, and …, and death.”

I asked my informants about what they imagined for a poster depicting “…yourself, your feelings, your hopes…what colors…what props…[what] words”. This could be interpreted as a symbol or image associated with their belief system or what immediately materializes in their thoughts when thinking about what has happened to themselves, their community and the world during this crisis.Many of my informants expressed a philosophical relationship with the belief that nature could heal and be healed. Responses that reflected this were when asked to give a poster idea, “…sparkling sea, and the water, air and earth would be clean.”; “…yellow and pink flowers…”; “…an ocean that is vibrant, healthy , and full of life.”; “…a garden with a young child planting a seedling…”; and “…leaving the house to go on ‘adventures’ outside on the trails finding peace…”.

Another interesting change in belief systems was the change in the philosophy of the

relationship with the informants and their belief in time. Some of the quotes expressing

a change in time “Time has slowed…; “…there are no days of the week, only sunrise,

sunlight, sunset, and night…then repeat…”; “I experienced another relationship with

time…”; “…I know I no longer want to manage time…”; “…finds this time very, very

important for slowing down, for looking within…”.

The answers I felt in the fieldwork through Facetime and the documents with written

answers were emotional, introspective, cynical and at the same time hopeful. Cynicism

was expressed several times and in these two answers sum up most of the cynical

answers as: “Maybe some good will come of the lessons learned on a large scale, but I

am skeptical.”. And, another was “No matter how hard it was (referring to natural

disasters) things slowly went back to some sort of ‘normal’…”.

But even more so, hope was expressed as; “…gratitude for what I have but it shows how others do not and they need our help even more than ever…”;“…hope for more

renewable energy and a cleaner planet, …healthier planet…healthier people…”; “I hope

that this changes to more and better recycling…”; “…shines a light on where hope is

needed most…”; “…hope for a better world out of [this] tragedy…”; and “…everyone will

feel more bonded and it will establish a sense of commonality.”

With the full collection of responses and interviews, I have found in nearly all cases, a

change in thinking, or, at least, a refocus in one’s reasonings. This change which in turn,

impacts their actions, and, with that, possibly, a community transformation or even

greater, a worldwide renewed or reinvigorated philosophical change or changes may

occur. Such are the expressions as: “At the core this [crisis] should show where help is

needed most, …in the community, with the individual, …and worldwide…”; “Everyone,

including myself, should donate more time or money in their [specified] charitable

institutions.”; and “…what emerges is how to live and help others to live well on this

planet together.” Therefore, protecting the environment advances hand in hand as a

clean, safe, healthy environment reflects the same in communities.

This is the outcome of the reasoned renewed or transformed or refocused thoughts of

identity, time, and belief systems that this Covid times have produced. A more bonded

global view of identity; a change in the philosophy of time so that time is more precious,

and more being in touch with nature and healing nature so it can heal us. These

enlightened changes of self and interaction with the local community and outward to

the world, one’s outlook on life, in essence, their philosophies coming out of this crisis

may change the world for good even though one can be cynical, one should be hopeful

and be proactive.