Updated: February 2, 2021 7:44:48 am
A new paper published in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communication argues that people develop Covid-19 personalities during the pandemic.
Mimi E Lam, a researcher at the University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway, has flagged the consequences of the different personalities and groups that are created in a time of severe social restrictions and uncertainty. She addresses several challenges that the pandemic poses. “The pandemic affects various groups differently, something that can create an ‘us vs them’ thinking and sow seeds of conflict, discrimination and racism,” she said in a statement issued by UiB.
Lam identifies and explains some early Covid-19 personality types:
DENIERS: who downplay the viral threat, promoting business as usual
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SPREADERS: who want it to spread, herd immunity to develop, and normality to return
HARMERS: who try to harm others by, for example, spitting or coughing at them
REALISTS: who recognise the reality of the potential harm and adjust their behaviours
WORRIERS: who stay informed and safe to manage their uncertainty and fear
CONTEMPLATORS: who isolate and reflect on life and the world
HOARDERS: who panic-buy and hoard products
INVINCIBLES: often youth, who believe themselves to be immune
REBELS: who flout social rules restricting their individual freedoms
BLAMERS: who vent their fears and frustrations onto others
EXPLOITERS: who exploit the situation for power, profit or brutality
INOVATORS: who design or repurpose resources to fight Covid-19
SUPPORTERS: who show their solidarity in support of others
ALTRUISTS: who help the vulnerable, elderly, and isolated
WARRIORS: who, like the front-line healthcare workers, combat its grim reality
VETERANS: who experienced SARS or MERS and willingly comply with restrictions
Lam argues that these emergent Covid-19 behavioural identities are being hijacked by existing social and political identities to politicise the pandemic and heighten racism, discrimination, and conflict.
“The Covid-19 pandemic reminds us that we are not immune to each other. To unite in our fight against the pandemic, it is important to recognise the basic dignity of all and value the human diversity currently dividing us,” she is quoted as saying. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@ieexplained) and stay updated with the latest
According to Lam, liberal democracies need an ethical policy agenda with three priorities:
# To recognise the diversity of individuals
# To deliberate and negotiate value trade-offs
# To promote public buy-in, trust, and compliance.
Source: University of Bergen
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