The purpose of this essay is to analyze current trends in the world regarding the pandemic of Covid-19 and recommend specific initiatives to combat the growing problem of weakening democracy. Perhaps the most noticeable form of undermining democracy is the growing role of governments and their willingness to implement new laws without consulting citizens. The right to vote is an important component in the process of creating and maintaining the state and plays a key role in relation with other countries. This essay addresses the contemporary main global concern which is the gradual limitation of democracy due to the threat of Covid-19.
Many experts remind us of similar situations which took place during the pandemic of the Spanish flu at the beginning of the 20th century as well as a grave number of deaths and an omnipresent havoc caused by Black Death 600 years ago. Nevertheless, globalization and an inclination to migrate are now greater than ever. People who were infected in China or Italy travelled extensively transmitting the virus without being aware of it. It must be said that we have lost control over the spreading of the virus. This negligence resulted in thousands of cases and a global lockdown.
The whole world is absorbed in a struggle with Covid-19. Currently, almost every continent is affected by illness which cannot be fully cured. There is no difference between the impact of the virus either in Africa, Asia, Europe or both Americas. The pandemic broke out abruptly and without control of any government. Since the beginning of 2020, most countries have lost their national independence, looking for help and supplies from other countries. Additionally, citizens have lost their chance to take an active part in democratic processes in their countries.
THE ROLE OF DEMOCRACY
Many people believe that democracy is being generated by governments. But the truth is that originally people had created democracy and subsequently it was upheld by citizens from the same country. Currently, we have democracy in states or international organizations and it is based on human rights to vote. For instance, we can choose our representatives who will rule the country on our behalf. This possibility cannot be taken from free people. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in their country. Furthermore, we have the opportunity to choose a representation which will present our needs and ideas in the front of the wider, international audience for example in the United Nations, European Union or Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
It is understandable that governments must act to protect their citizens from threats. However, it is strongly connected with the limitation of freedom. In order to stop the virus, the majority of countries decided to restrain the civil liberties. It was made through few restrictions, among others, such as mandatory quarantine at home, a duty to inform police when you are stopped about the purpose of your travel, the obligation to postpone official matters, keeping a distance in a public place and the obligation to accept the strategy of one’s country of residence. Additionally, thousands of people were forced to leave the countries they used to be in or cancel their plans for travel or work. The liberty of moving has been limited as much as possible.
At the same time, we have to take into account the situation in countries where the government has had a very strong role for decades. For instance, in China, Russia, Hong Kong, South Korea the beginning of the pandemic only strengthened either the position of the president or the ruling party. It caused the increased control over the citizens and permanent surveillance manifested through the limitation to move, work, travel or even the usage of their own properties. People have been forced to give the government free access to their personal information, bank accounts and family histories as well as to accept a new law in the country, which has been implemented by authority.
It cannot be denied that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the level of democracy. Some authorities use the crisis and their emergency powers to restrict citizens’ fundamental rights. In many countries, journalists, who commented and provided information about the genuine status of the pandemic, were forced to leave the country or were detained. These kinds of situations where information has been censored have taken place in China, Thailand, Egypt, Jordan, Russia and Turkey. The risk that countries will keep the same level of authoritarian power and will not restore the rights before the pandemic is highly probable. Consequently, a large number of governments can obtain plenty of data, not only about their citizens but also about migrants. That is why the question of whether democracy could survive or is an outdated, useless system which is not sufficient to protect citizens continues to be vigorously debated in many countries.
SUSTAIN NATURAL STATE PROCESSES
In these circumstances, it is important to take into account the most important element of democracy which is elections. Since the pandemic has been announced by WHO, on March 11, in many countries the elections were held despite the virus and in many others postponed because of it. In France, Bavaria (Germany), Geneva (Suisse) and Nord Korea governments decided to conduct elections. The frequency was lower than usual and it was down to the pandemic. Moreover, the number of voters in France has been the smallest in the history. At the same time in the United Kingdom, North Macedonia and Serbia the election was postponed. Those governments admitted that the risk was too high. Additionally, there is a lack of information about the situation of Poland. Its government wants to conduct, for the first time in history, correspondent presidential elections. It should have happened on 10th May, but the election will take place later this year. It is still unclear when and how elections will be administrated. To put it differently, it is true that citizens to some extent lost their right to vote. On the one hand, a lot of people could not participate in the election process because of the virus. On the other hand, the postponement will have an impact on the result in the future as well as allowing current authorities to govern longer than they should.
Despite implementing new measures to save the economy, not only in the European Union countries but all over the world, there are few sectors which have been severely affected by the crisis. On account of the lockdown of people who had to stay in their homes, many owners from the service sector such as tourism (and business travel services), gastronomy, sport facilities, entertainment and cinema haven not had customers for weeks. Their store rentals are too expensive to be held for more than a month without any income and they have had to close them down. Moreover, the crisis for the private sector came unexpectedly. On March 11 the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pointing to over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus. Within 3 weeks more than 20 countries have declared special emergency states which required to close all public places. After that period, thousands of companies lost their chance to survive and people lost their right to go to work. In many countries, the national law has been changed, which limited democracy, in order to stop the virus. Additionally, at the same time, it deprived people of the chance to earn money and get by. The restriction of the international transport will be kept for the next few months which means that it will not be possible to keep the same level of international trade like before the pandemic.
To sum up, it must be underlined that both sides must look for a consensus. Authorities must remember that they were elected to exercise power for the citizens and in order to provide prosperity. Equally important is that citizens must obey the rules and accept the temporary discomfort. The virus will not survive for long and we are obliged to protect human lives. For this reason, both sides must understand this unprecedented situation and wait for a solution. The vaccine is already under development. The government is not above the whole nation unless it wants a home war. In other words, there is a possibility that after long quarantine people will look for freedom more than before lockdown was imposed. That is why everything must be discussed respecting the principles of democracy.
As a matter of fact, citizens must understand imposed restrictions and during the same time, governments must try to restore the state before the pandemic. What is more important, authorities should seek to improve conditions in countries and ameliorate the health care system, economy support system and co-financing for young entrepreneurs. It is generally agreed that citizens comply with their orders to stay at home. Now, it is time for authorities to take a lesson from the three-month deadly struggle with the virus but with the knowledge that citizens are the most important component for every country.
 The exception was a strategy undertook by Sweden.
 F. Z. Brown, S. Brechenmacher, T. Carothers, How Will the Coronavirus Reshape Democracy and Governance Globally?, https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/04/06/how-will-coronavirus-reshape-democracy-and-governance-globally-pub-81470, access: 01.05.2020
 Aleksander Olech, Twitter, https://twitter.com/AleksanderOlech/status/1256172737061625857/photo/1, access: 30.04.2020.
 All information about elections amid the pandemic: M. Banasiak, M. Chruściel, Ł. Kobierski, A. K. Olech, Wybory w czasie pandemii. Rekomendacje dla Polski, https://ine.org.pl/wybory-w-czasie-pandemii-rekomendacje-dla-polski, access: 02.05.2020
 S. Zsiros, Coronavirus: an unprecedented challenge to democracy?, https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/09/coronavirus-an-unprecedented-challenge-to-democracy, access: 03.05.2020.
 A. Timsit, Will democracy be the next victim of coronavirus?, https://qz.com/1825015/will-democracy-be-the-next-victim-of-coronavirus, access: 04.05.2020.
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