Covid-19 & Human Behaviour

COVID19 pandemic is a disease more of its fear than of its nature. The coronavirus is quite simply, and almost exclusively, a moral panic. This is so in the most literal sense. Human bodies, minds, societies, systems of meaning, norms, and morality have co-evolved with pathogens. Determining who drove whom in this dark scenario is currently unclear. The negativity bias is one of the most potent of such pre-programmed mental heuristics. Any cue that contains information about potential dangers and threats will jump to mind easily, will be easier to remember, and easier to pass on. In the lingo of cultural epidemiologists, we describe danger cues as possessing “high learnability, memorability, and teachability” or high feed-forward potential in epidemics of ideas. There is a clear evolutionary advantage to this trait. We are better off over-interpreting rather than under-interpreting danger.

But this mental heuristic is known to a glitch in other ways, Racism and xenophobia. By this account, COVID-19 is turning out to be a remarkably intelligent evolutionary adversary. By exploiting vulnerabilities in human psychology selectively bred by its pathogen ancestors, it has already shut down many of our schools, crashed our stock market, increased social conflict and xenophobia, reshuffled our migration patterns, and is working to contain us in homogenous spaces where it can keep spreading. We should pause to remark that COVID-19 is extraordinarily successful epidemiologically, precisely because it is not extremely lethal with its mortality rate of 3.4% in India.

Human and Coronavirus: Problems

Psychology has a direct effect on our immunity. With more psychological problem, trauma arising out of coronavirus is widened manifold. It is a classification of the problems arising out of coronavirus as an effect of human psychology turpitude.

-Personal psychological effect:

-The overemphasis of coronavirus leads to over consciousness. We are right now over-conscious about everything. People living near us, Goods we purchase. Over consciousness is a subjective query.

-Excess anxiety is fear of something unknown. Pathological anxiety results in strong subjective feelings accompanied by similar physiological activation as normal anxiety, including muscle tension, shortness of breath, hyperventilation, heart palpitation or heart-pounding, increased perspiration or cold sweat, and exaggerated scare. “If a set of people had a prior illness, then their condition is likely to worsen because of stress, or due to medicines and psychiatrists being unavailable,” This can lead to anxiety in the whole family.

Many jobs were taken, amid this pandemic situation. This will also add anxiety to the unemployed. E.g. A Bihar mill has removed all workers from the job in fear of insolvency.

-Interpersonal: The Bondage between humans has been weakening.

-When corona attacks a family, all family members have to be separated. A child from her mother, which establish a kind of emotional turmoil.

-Increase in Domestic violence cases all over the world: The World Health Organization has highlighted a 60% spike in calls to European domestic violence hotlines in April. Calls to domestic abuse helplines in the UK are reported to have increased by almost 50%, with a 35% rise in calls to men’s advice lines. The Metropolitan Police have also revealed that an average of 100 arrests a day for domestic abuse offences in London during the first 6 weeks of lockdown. These figures are shocking, but it seems likely that they are just the tip of a very large iceberg and only when countries emerge from lockdown will the full scale and impact emerge. It affects families adversely, which is the smallest unit of society.

-Social relationship:

-It is a striking fundamental to human existence. But with the outbreak of coronavirus, the same has been weakened. No discourses, no interaction between individuals are facilitated amid this pandemic.

-Nor any religious involvement is free to commence, which affects the solidarity and common feelings between individuals.

-Development of social prejudice:

– Social status is widened. People are taking caution while taking the help of any individual depending upon the social status. E.g. A maid is considered to have lived with a lowered standard of livelihood, thus they were mostly removed from the job. It demarcated people on the basis of their hygiene.

-A new social outlook is created. Which develop class and community-based prejudice. Different classes have deemed to have different standards of living which lead to social exclusion of them from society.

-Communal based prejudice: Muslim basically lives in ghettos and prefers non-vegetarian habits. Though WHO has objected that, Coronavirus do not spread through the animal. The conception of human being does not change and started discriminating between different religions. E.g. Tabliki Jamat was the same as Sikh (back to Punjab who was stuck) who were found positive coronavirus cases. But due to living standards, Muslim were profusely discriminated.

Psychological treatment

-Practice gratitude- Be conscious of the things for which you’re grateful. Research finds that individuals who regularly practice gratitude incur many benefits, including better social relationships, better sleep, less depression, and more happiness.

-Help out- Helping others is not only a nice thing to do, but it also helps us feel better.

-Stay connected- Humans are social creatures. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense. Our odds of survival as hunters and gatherers increased dramatically when we managed to stay connected to others, and this is as true today as it was in our evolutionary past.

-Let yourself laugh- Laughter is good for you. Not only does it boost our immune systems, a good thing during a global pandemic, but it also reduces stress, diminishes pain, and helps us feel better.

-Take a deep breath- In moments when the stress of it all gets to be too much, take a few deep breaths. Inhale slowly and steadily through your nose allowing the air to fill your lungs and your stomach and exhale just as slowly.

Conclusion: Much more relevant to the terrible threat caused by our Pathogen Overlords, you can prepare to fight the yearly Corona invasions to come by resisting your own neuroticism, your own prejudice, and your own irrationality. As far as numbers games are concerned, our Pathogen Overlords are much nobler and much more worthy of our hatred than our fellow human pseudo-enemies in political, religious, and culture wars.

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