Let's Get Back to Normal? COVID-19 and the Logic of Cure




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Frontiers in Sociology



Peer reviewed



The COVID-19 pandemic has inversed certainties of absolutes of cure in everyday life but paradoxically this has occurred during a time when novel scientific advancements seem to herald a new frontier of cures for rare diseases, chronic conditions, disabilities and viruses that were previously incurable. In this paper, I illustrate the development of a logic of cure by first of all noting a lacuna in the medical sociological and anthropological literature, where although a lot of empirical research and theoretical work to understand cure has been undertaken, there has been no sociology or anthropology of cure. Using three case studies, I examine what they reveal about the logic of cure. Firstly, I argue that there is a development of a bioethics of cure in reactions of disability community and disabled people to care as cure during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second case-study focuses on understanding limitations of vaccines and how people react against such indeterminancies of loss of absolutes of cure. Lastly, the final case study describes how while there are cures, for example, for rare genetic conditions, they are often initially curated with long-term cost-benefit analysis for the Global North. In conclusion, it is found that many of the developments within sociology and anthropology are missing from a logic of cure and that a new theory of cure has to develop.


open access article


COVID-19, Cure, pandemic, sociology, anthropology


Berghs, M. (2022) Let's Get Back to Normal? COVID-19 and the Logic of Cure. Frontiers in Sociology, 7, 782582.


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research