For the Greater Good? The Devastating Ripple Effects of the Covid-19 Crisis
19 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2020 Last revised: 13 Jul 2020
Date Written: May 28, 2020
As the crisis around Covid-19 evolves, it becomes clear that there are numerous negative side-effects of the lockdown strategies implemented by many countries. At the same time, more evidence becomes available that the lockdowns may have more negative effects than positive effects. For instance, many measures taken in a lockdown aimed at protecting human life may compromise the immune system, especially of vulnerable groups. This leads to the paradoxical situation of compromising the immune system of many people, including the ones we aim to protect. Other side effects include financial insecurity of billions of people, excess mortality, and increased inequalities. As the virus outbreak and media coverage spread fear and anxiety, superstition, cognitive dissonance reduction and conspiracy theories are ways to find meaning and reduce anxiety. This may play a role in the continuance of lockdown behaviors even as it becomes clear that this strategy in some ways seems to do more harm than good. Based on theories regarding social influence, superstition and stress and coping, we seek to explain the social and behavioral science behind the human behavior in times of crises. We present a model of drivers and outcomes of lockdown behaviors and offer suggestions to counteract the negative psychological effects by means of online life crafting therapeutic writing interventions.
Keywords: Covid-19 crisis, lockdown, financial insecurity, disrupted supply chains, superstition, conspiracy theories, social influence, life crafting, increased inequalities
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