New research by Mimi E. Lam at the University of Bergen just published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications identifies and explores the impacts of salient viral or COVID-19 behavioral identities that are emerging.
"These emergent COVID-19 behavioral identities are being hijacked by existing social and political identities to politicize the pandemic and heighten racism, discrimination, and conflict," says Lam. She continues, "the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that we are not immune to each other. To unite in our fight against the pandemic, it is important to recognize the basic dignity of all and value the human diversity currently dividing us. Only then, can we foster societal resilience and an ethical COVID-19 agenda. This would pave the way for other global commons challenges whose impacts are less immediate, but no less dire for humanity.
Lam argues that liberal democracies need an ethical policy agenda with three priorities: 1. to recognize the diversity of individuals; 2. to deliberate and negotiate value trade-offs; and 3. to promote public buy-in, trust, and compliance.
Some emergent "COVID-19 personality types":
Deniers: who downplay the viral threat, promoting business as usual
Spreaders: who want it to spread, herd immunity to develop, and normality to return
Harmers: who try to harm others by, for example, spitting or coughing at them
Realists: who recognize the reality of the potential harm and adjust their behaviors
Worriers: who stay informed and safe to manage their uncertainty and fear
Contemplators: who isolate and reflect on life and the world
Hoarders: who panic-buy and hoard products to quell their insecurity
Invincibles: often youth, who believe themselves to be immune
Rebels: who defiantly reject social rules restricting their individual freedoms
Blamers: who vent their fears and frustrations onto others
Exploiters: who exploit the situation for power, profit or brutality
Innovators: who design or repurpose resources to fight the pandemic
Supporters: who show their solidarity in support of others
Altruists: who help the vulnerable, elderly, and isolated
Warriors: who, like the front-line healthcare workers, combat its grim reality
Veterans: who experienced SARS or MERS and willingly comply with restrictions
Source: University of Bergen