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COVID-19 & The Shift in Social Status Markers

The idea of social status has been around for a long time. It’s so ingrained in our minds that we don’t think twice about it.

Traditionally, society judged people by the number of cattle and land they had; today, a well-paying job, a beautiful home, and expensive stuff denote high status.

It’s probably why celebrities are considered to have high social status. Not just celebs, people employed in high-paying jobs also enjoy an elevated status, thanks to the respect such employment brings.


Unsplash | Celebrities traditionally enjoyed high social status

But today, the world is in pieces. We’re facing the COVID-19 pandemic as one.

Today, whether it’s a movie star or someone ordinary, everyone is looked at with the same parameters. The fact that all of us are under lockdown somehow bridges the status gaps between us and makes us parts of the much larger, single community. As such, the usual markers of social status have changed drastically. Or you could say the perspective of people across the globe has evolved.

Let’s take a look at how COVID-19 has managed to cause a shift in the general social status markers.

New factors denoting high status

While luxury brands are trying to develop new ways to sell their products, the concern for health over wealth seems to make all this useless. Today, there’s no point purchasing a piece of jewelry or a handbag for thousands of dollars if no one’s going to see you flaunt it!

The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of people out of jobs is also a serious matter. People who were once excellent consumers are no longer looking to purchase frivolous items as they’ve put the concern for their health first.



Unsplash | Today, people put health ahead of social status

COVID-19 has introduced new status factors. The status markers have shifted from celebrities to those on the front lines, such as doctors, nurses, scientists, and researchers. Also, we can’t forget those who keep the streets and other public places clean and the grocery shops and pharmacies open.

Read – How the world appreciates front line Corona warriors

Each such individual has gained significant social status in this period. It’s one of the most beautiful things to have come out of this pandemic. High social status is no longer only for those who are rich but also for those out and about, working to keep the millions in the country safe.

The road forward looks promising

The shift in social status is heart-warming as we come together as a community to support and appreciate each other. This is also a time when we feel the need to learn necessary skills, such as sewing, plumbing, and giving ourselves haircuts! Having a basic idea about these skills will make us appreciate our service providers more.


Unsplash | Gratefulness towards Corona front line warriors has increased

Hopefully, once the pandemic is over and things start to come back to normal, we will retain what we learned during this pandemic and prioritize health and kindness over social status.

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