The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges. Comparing pre-pandemic and pandemic experiences led to the re-evaluation of the role of festivities and their associated traditions. Through semi-structured interviews, people’s perceptions of festivities during the two-year-long period of repetitive social restrictions were investigated in Latvia (Latgale region). Data analysis revealed that the quality of festivities related to otherworldliness decreased. Celebration as a powerful practice for developing a sense of togetherness and experiencing collective joy was commonly acknowledged. Festivities were primarily perceived as a tool of socialization and collective identification, as well as an opportunity for entertainment and creative expression.
The authors have determined that the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse, as it is unable to meet the population’s growing needs for medical care. An analysis of demographic situation and health indices of the adult population in the north-eastern region of Ukraine (based on the example of the Sumy region) was carried out. The study confirms the number of deaths caused by COVID-19, the growth of new cases of coronavirus, and the excessive burden on primary care physicians and infectious disease specialists. It has been determined that the negative state of the domestic healthcare system is due to the shortcomings of public administration and organisation of this system in terms of COVID-19. One of the most important priorities of public policy should be to preserve and strengthen the health of the population, the development of intersectoral cooperation on the principle of ‘healthcare – in all state policies’, and the priority of the nation itself, i.e. the formation of healthy behaviour.