State of emergency:

What is to be done?

This article is a continuation of the statement “Coronavirus compels us to not only be patients, but citizens as well,” accessible at

Patients are those, who, having no other options, wait in isolation for something to happen to them. Citizens on the other hand are those, who are aware about their choices, their ability to ask: “What can we do?” to find solutions and to roll up their sleeves together with others. Well, what can we do to not only restore some kind of normality in our lives, but to also find ourselves in a better world afterwards.

We don't have the luxury to wait for the state to lead us to the Promised Land—as its repressing hand becomes more and more ominous, its other, the caring one, is as hesitant and weak as it has been for a very long time. Otherwise, citizens and civic organizations wouldn't have been forced to voluntarily organize the gathering of donations, consumables, and deliveries. Even the virtuous image of the European Union, supposedly built on solidarity between nations, has evaporated within days. There's no significant cooperation visible at all between the bloc's countries, especially in support of Italy or Spain. The complete border closures signal isolation within the realms of nation states and a race to act the “most alone,” unprecedented in the history of the EU's unification. 

As citizens, we need to have quite a different view on inspiration and activities for the future. Besides the already known health measures, sufficient for a patient, here is an incompletable list of examples and directions, to which to turn as citizens.

1. Let go and resist!!

First, it is necessary to let go of being involved in activities, which are harmful to me and those around me. Examples from all over the world show that this makes sense and is the precondition for activities afterwards.

Examples of successful resistance: click arrow on the right

2. Organize!

Second, it is imperative that the weaknesses and deficiencies in the state organization are compensated and where necessary even replaced by various solidaric forms of self-organizing and mutual aid. Surrounded by examples of such activities, can we begin to not only see them, but to also nurture and develop them for the future?

Examples of self-organization and mutual aid: click arrow on the right

3. Exert pressure and attract others!

In order to have a lasting and all-including effect from our activities, it is imperative to exert pressure on the official authorities to adopt new high-quality policies. Parallel to this, it is of critical importance to not only to inform each other on the development of the crisis, but to also attract others to the struggle for a better world. Still, ahead of us lies the task to make much more massive and bold demands in all sectors.

Examples of positions and activities: click arrow on the right 

4. Protect your mental health!

In times of global crisis, flooded with catastrophic images and predictions, depression and existential anxiety are real threats for all of us.  Drowning in the media stream condemns us to panic and stupor. It is important to practice self-care, to uphold some kind of rhythm of life and to feel truly useful.

Examples of mental health care: click arrow on the right 

Translation from Bulgarian: Dennis Kienzler

Icons by Kiranshastry.