Living the Death of Others: The disruption of death in the Covid-19 pandemic
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization classified the Covid-19 emergency as a pandemic, a decision that was taken following the perception that the virus was both lethal and rapidly spreading. The role played by mortality and contagion in this pandemic narrative, thus, cannot be ignored. On the one hand, contagion acts as a transgressive category that is a main source of socio-political disruptions and a catalyst for new forms of sociality. On the other hand, the effectiveness and persuasiveness of mortality as a quantifiable reality overshadows death as lived experience, obfuscating a profound reorganisation of the ways death is managed and produced through the work of a whole professional segment. Hence, this article explores how the response to the Covid-19 pandemic is reshaping death as lived experience by transgressing categories of existence and reorganising the conditions under which death is managed and produced.