Two Romanias in the time of Covid: the luxury of isolation vs. the burden of pandemics

Two Romanias in the time of Covid: the luxury of isolation vs. the burden of pandemics

Our lives have shifted, we now learn to adapt to a new way of working, news ways of attending school, e-commerce and food delivery are suddenly in the spotlight. Brunch with friends happen on Facetime and all forms of entertainment now take place in our living rooms. All sorts of brands and companies struggle to make our living inside the house as free of anxiety as possible.

But as much of a stressful change this might be, we must not forget that there are still two Romanias out there and this is the beautiful side of it.

In THE OTHER ROMANIA reality is tougher than before:

  • STAYING AT HOME ON SURVIVAL MODE: By the time I am writing this, there are more than 1 million work contracts cancelled, more than 10% of Romanians left without the job. For them, covering the basic needs of the family is the biggest struggle. “Before this I used to write a shopping list for my girlfriend. Now I don’t need to because it’s easy to remember what we can afford: some bread, some salami and that’s about it”. (source: Press One)

  • SCHOOL DIDN’T MOVE ONLINE, SCHOOLED JUST GOT CANCELLED: There are 500.000 students in Romania who don’t have internet access. 100.000 Romanian students don’t even have a TV cable connection, to follow the tele-school classes. Furthermore, not all teachers have access to the internet or are digitalized and are unable to continue teaching their students.

  • HOME IS THE MOST CROWDED SPACE THEY COULD BE IN: For the Romanian families living in poverty, being isolated at home sometimes it means sharing a 17 square meters apartment with more than 5 other people, leaving them with around 2 square meters per person. The EU recommendation for prisons is to offer a space of at least 4 square meters per person.

  • HOME IS THE MOST UNSAFE PLACE: For many women around the world, and in Romania, isolation during Covid-19 is the worst nightmare, being 24h/7 prisoners at home with their aggressors. As all around the world the number of cases of domestic violence increases dramatically, the UN calls for peace in homes.

This epidemic opens back the deep wounds of the Romanian society and makes it harder to ignore them. Even though wars and sanitary crisis like this one usually makes people more empathetic, in this case, empathy grows only inside each one’s bubble, growing the divides in the society even more. It’s the brands’ challenge today to not forget about the other Romania and inspire people to show empathy beyond their own bubble.


Author: Bianca Troncea

Bianca Troncea is Strategic Planner at McCann Bucharest

These are the times when people need to learn from each other more than ever. Times when sharing knowledge is a practice everyone must embrace for the sake of better tomorrows to come. That’s why at McCann Romania, we decided to create a platform where everyone can share their pieces of advice for the industry in different formats. Strategic Hack is the format where experts prove through different perspectives that pretty much anything can be hacked with strategy.

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