The Effect of Coronavirus on Our Psychology

The ongoing pandemic is nothing like we have ever seen before. Deaths and the reality of affected loved ones are taking a mental toll on many individuals at the moment. Even more so for front-line medical professionals, as moral injury and psychological trauma awaits them. They’re increasingly being forced to ration ventilators and other lifesaving resources while having to handle an overwhelming amount of affected patients. This is severely damaging their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. As medical professionals risk their own lives and wellbeing to assist those affected, the societal and psychological implications are concerning. 

In America, breaking news about coronavirus constantly bombards the news, TV programs, and even our phones. Frightening statistics, high death rates, daily warnings, and overall constant bombardment instigate our anxiety and lead us to become more conservative in terms of behavior and thinking regarding social attitude, and many are prioritizing conformity over eccentricity. In other words, coronavirus is twisting our psychological responses and leading us to behave in unforeseen ways.

Heightened levels of distrust, suspicion, and conservative thinking lead to prejudice and xenophobia, and even overt racism. The fear of diseases leads to influence people’s attitudes towards minority ethnic groups (particularly Asians). 

However, all of this is not to say that the virus outbreak is changing our minds. More so, it is triggering heightened levels of anxiety, which is leading to our fearful and rather conservative thinking and behavior about and towards each other. In situations like the ongoing pandemic, our primal instincts activate, and our “fight, flight, freeze” response towards threats become more prominent. 

With all of the ongoing turmoil, uncertainty, and fear of the unpredictability, it is worth considering how our psychological shifts are influencing our personal reactions to the coronavirus. As many of us express a conformist opinion and/or judge another’s behavior, we may come to question our thoughts as a result of rational reasoning or evolutionary inheritance.