Pandemia, distanciamento social e academia - Dançando no escuro 20 anos depois

2020 Cadernos EBAPE.BR  
On March 11 of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the world was facing a new pandemic (WHO, 2020), this time caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), which is the etiological agent of COVID-19, a respiratory infectious disease, for which there is neither a vaccine nor a proven effective treatment (SINGHAL, 2020). The indicated prevention measures are thorough handwashing with soap and water, the use of hand sanitizers, the use of a face
more » ... the use of a face mask, and social distancing. This distancing aims to reduce interaction and proximity between people in a community, where individuals are infected, but not yet identified, and can transmit the disease (HE, DENG and LI, 2020). However, according to the National Continuous Household Sample Survey (PNAD), of 2018, 31.1 million Brazilians live in households without access to a main system water supply; 74.2 million, in areas without a sewage system; 5.8 million do not have a bathroom in their home; and 11.6 million live in densely populated properties, that is, with more than three residents per bedroom (IBGE, 2020). How can social distancing occur in these conditions? The suggested policy applies to an economically privileged minority. The same can be said of economic activities: 23% of Brazilians have entirely lost their source of income, and 17% have had a reduction in their monthly earnings (CNI, 2020). But even for those who do not fall into these categories -for example, many of us, professors and academics -how have professional activities changed? First of all, we have to recognize our privilege: our profession is socially valued, we have guaranteed labor rights that allow us to reflect on the challenges that synchronized lessons mediated by technology impose on us, as well as on the type of teaching and work relationships we want. From one hour to the next, we saw our classes and academic meetings completely migrate to the digital environment, which forced us to learn new systems, rethink pedagogical methods, rewrite our lesson plans, insert new content, with unprecedented speed and sense of urgency. Our daily tasks grew exponentially and, more than that, started to demand skills in which we were not always proficient. We were forced to manage our anxieties and, also, those of our students, peers, superiors, administrative colleagues. In the background of all this, there is intense organizational pressure for performance and results, and the specter of uncertainty about the future. In many educational institutions, professors are evaluated at the end of each course. The insecurity with technological tools both by professors and students, and the management of class time can become factors that compromise the perceived quality of the course. In addition, in some cases, professors are faced with the threat of reduced wages, higher workload, and even with the termination of employment. This new configuration of the world of work has resulted in an emotional burden. Professors are, as never before, faced with the need to rethink and manage their career, under the shadow of an "economic crisis unprecedented in history" (FMI, 2020) and having to negotiate for their jobs, accepting to carry out additional unpaid activities (training, meetings). As with other professional categories that also moved to work from home, social distancing forced professors and academics to deal with the fragile frontier that separated their personal and professional lives. Professionals are challenged to balance
doi:10.1590/1679-395181285 fatcat:amqpij2wxrbuvd55olaw6juds4