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What’s bugging us in the COVID-19 minimal preventive measures?

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/business-people-wearing-face-masks-and-talking-4427957/

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Anja M
Anja M Aug 29, 2020
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Necessity

Is the problem still unsolved?

Conciseness

Is it concisely described?

Since the new wave called ‘COVID-19’ hit the world, most of us find ourselves dazzled and confused on how to behave properly and ask if we should even adopt the measures our governments proclaim, in order to prevent the spread of this virus. Yet, in the supposition that despite of the lack of consensus on what measures we should follow, we still want to keep us and our dearest safe, I hope to hear your opinions on why so many people around the world start to cut up rough when asked for something so simple as wearing a mask or skipping gym and crowded places.
As a conversation starter, I’d like to turn to Yascha Mounk’s opinion on the potential reasons.
  1. Ignorance. In the beginning of the crisis up until today, there are still many people who don’t inform themselves enough in order to grasp the need to implement the protective measures. Additionally, it turned out many people lack basic knowledge on the transmission of bacteria and viruses.
  2. Selfishness. This aspect refers mostly to those in the lower-risk groups who can contract the disease and then, usually unknowingly, spread it to the others, where some of them are from the higher-risk groups. This usually means that younger family members who feel they might have mild symptoms or even do not contract the virus at all, might not want to waive their rich social life, so then they do not empathize enough with the consequences the behavior might bring to their older family members.
  3. We respond much better to the suffering we witness directly. Usually, we’d rather call 911 or jump to rescue if we see someone collapsing on the street, than feel shaken if we hear about the same situation on the news happening in another city. Applying this to the COVID-19 situation, since in the early stages of infection one does not know he/she is a carrier, unless provided with undisputable evidence, we cannot feel the weight of the consequences we probably produce.
  4. Actions we are accustomed to assess from a moral perspective. The first three reasons refer to the moral sacrifices we are willing to perform, but this one frames the actions we perceive as completely out of a moral pool of actions in our daily routines. As the author simply puts it: “Everyone knows that guns are dangerous, lethal weapons. If I asked you to raise a gun and point it at a stranger’s face, your heart would probably start to race in protest. But most of us have grown up in a world in which the decision to grab a coffee from Starbucks, or to meet a friend for a chat, was not freighted with deep moral significance. No matter how dangerous such actions might be right now, they feel completely benign.”
How do you see these aspects? Is there anything in these you might expand or think there is another to be added?
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Creative contributions

Inability to make sense of the information around us

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 30, 2020
My discovery journey on the topic led me to this 2-hour long video Daniel Schmachtenberger talks about why the "information ecology" is so damaged, and what it will take to make it healthy. Without good sensemaking, we cannot even begin to act in the world.
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Anja M
Anja Ma year ago
Thanks. In the first couple of minutes it caught my attention, so I am getting back when I watch the whole thing.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
It's one of the most influential talks I've seen this year
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Peer pressure

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Aug 31, 2020
Just yesterday I received phone calls from individuals from 3 different social groups asking me to join a casual meeting they were planning. I know it’s been long since we have met. I tried to decline to join each meeting carefully. Some calls ended up in agreement with my thoughts and postponed the meeting to a healthier time. Some of the other individuals respected my thoughts and excused me (although they went ahead with the meeting with those who wanted to meet). A portion of the calls tried to convince me otherwise. They even provided examples of other “anti-social” souls like me whom they could convince to meet. I felt the sorriest for those who caved in. The same has happened with people wearing masks and taking other protective measures. So, peer pressure can be another reason bugging us.
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Anja M
Anja Ma year ago
Definitely. Even then, perhaps it can be classified as a sort of selfishness, but, it is contestable it can be a category on its own. Peer pressure is also very problematic for discerning real hypochondria and a fake one (people surrounded with such a peer pressure usually get direct/indirect comments on how easily scared they are, etc.)
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Our collective detachment from the objective reality of the events and incidents

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Aug 31, 2020
I recently listened to this podcast in which social psychologist Jonathan Haidt posits that with the integration of advertisements services into the social media (mainly Facebook) after 2011-12, there has been a slippery slope towards producing 'sensational' contents that can detach the audience from the truth of the real things. This phenomenon echoes back and forth and eventually leaves no space for comprehension of the actual state of matters in the social circles. At a magnified level, this creates a mimetic flood of misinformation that ultimately drives mass irrational behaviour- as manifest in not wearing the mask or refraining from maintaining social distancing in the context of COVID-19. Here's the link to the podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1fnFresTaY&t=3020s
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Anja M
Anja Ma year ago
Hm, very interesting! The flood of ads is bad on so many levels, and I guess it also contributes to the misinformation in the pandemic. The good thing I can think of: since social media won't stop with advertising, they can promote stores selling masks, disinfectants, etc. Also, if they wanted, they could readjust the algorithms to filter posts not only according to quantitative methods (e.g. number of likes, area coverage), but also according to the relevance of the author to the topic. Here I am talking about experts, etc.
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