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Psychic Numbing And Covid-19

The higher the number of people dead, the less we care

Human psychology in plain terms, is a work of art, a web of miscellaneous traits. This aspect of the human body is discussed more often in this century than any other before.

“When we encounter an unexpected challenge of threat, the only way to save ourselves is to hold on tight to the people around us and not let go.” –Shawn Achor

When you interpret Shawn Achor’s quote above in the current context in relation to Covid-19, it is easily understood that the majority of the people bear an opinion in contrary.

Again, what exactly is ‘numb’ here?

A person would go the distance to safeguard himself at the time of a disaster. Any subsequent loss in life brings much grief to the closest of the individual — but over time, if the effect of the particular disaster or event is kept on the rise, chances are the effect that brings to the lives of people around, becomes miraculously less!

Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash

Experienced decision science researcher Paul Slovic, PhD, recently explained this phenomenon relating to the current pandemic.

“One life is valuable, but that life loses value, perceptually, if it is part of a larger tragedy,”

This natural occurrence is what is commonly referred as psychic numbing.

Where are we headed?

Psychic numbing, in my personal opinion is clearly evident with how people behave during the time of Covid-19. We are leading ourselves to hit a blind wall, just like Brazil did a few days back. A majority of population become over confident with the fact they are immune to such a disease, and throw themselves to jeopardy assuming the fact the disease has been on-air for quite a considerable time, and the fact they have been moving in the society less consciously, makes them ‘invincible’.

Brazil as we know, is on its way to being a threat to the human race itself, with media platforms referring to the President of Brazil, “a global health threat."

How Brazil manages Covid-19 has been questionable. In fact the staggering number of deaths constantly throughout, prove it — indeed the president is a key accuser of this crisis, I would call it the single biggest blunder in recent history of Brazil, but could it only be the President and the officials to be blamed?

To proceed from here onward:

Seven-day  average  of covid-19  deaths  in  Brazil
Source: BBC 2021 -Seven-day average of covid-19 deaths in Brazil
Cumulative  deaths  by  Covid-19  in  Brazil
Source: BBC 2021 — Cumulative deaths by Covid-19 in Brazil

Now, Give this a read.

The country that has been on one of its hardest runs in history, the second most affected country due to Covid-19, has many open public events aligned over the next few months including a Candy and Cake Show, Critic: International Conference on Architectural Design and Criticism, Interior design trade show and more. Just these three events are en-route to attract hundreds of thousands of people in the public. For a pandemic that has an R-naught value of between 1.4 and 3.9 it can easily be assumed the country is a clear victim of psychic numbing — a vulnerable place to be, if you are conscious of your health.

It is a sad fact, that we are biologically tuned to have limited human compassion.

But just as Paul Slovic says,

‘We’re compelled to help individuals. But the world’s problems are too large to be solved one person at a time.’

This quote can further be explained easily with the concept of ‘Prominence Effect’

Stay tuned!

About Author:

I recently started my new venture as an IT Project Manager and here I am, keeping baby-steps to bring out the writer in me, while learning basics and advanced techniques in writing.

My medium handle is Muad Arshad where you can find out articles I have written on random topics, life experiences and tech-based roles! — whoops

Reach me on twitter through @muad_0911 and on LinkedIn through Muad Arshad!




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Muad Arshad

Muad Arshad

The Content Doctor | Weekly write-ups on Tech related roles and random topics| Reach me through to write|