Sheltering at Our Common Home
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry
Bio-invasion, Bio-preparedness, Bioethics, Common home, Disasters, Ecology, Emerging infectious diseases, Pandemics, Sheltering at home, Sheltering in place, Social distancing, War metaphor
The current COVID-19 pandemic has reactivated ancient metaphors (especially military ones) but also initiated a new vocabulary: social distancing, lockdown, self-isolation, and sheltering in place. Terminology is not ethically neutral but reflects prevailing value systems. I will argue that there are two metaphorical vocabularies at work: an authoritarian one and a liberal one. Missing is an ecological vocabulary. It has been known for a long time that emerging infectious diseases are associated with the destruction of functioning ecosystems and biodiversity. Ebola and avian influenza viruses have been significant warnings. Obviously, this pandemic will not be the last one. As the planet is our common home, the major metaphor to explore is sheltering at this home.
ten Have, H. (2020). Sheltering at Our Common Home. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 17 (4), 525-529. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11673-020-10014-x