Novel Coronavirus is a disaster for humanity, but it should not break the spirit

Novel Coronavirus is a great blow to humanity, but it should not break the spirit.

Novel Coronavirus is a huge blow to humanity not primarily because of the disease itself, but because of the way we deal with the epidemic.

Novel Coronavirus is and will likely have a far more profound impact on people’s lives and economic, social and international relations than any other public health crisis of the past.
Even during the first and second world wars, governments did not feel the need to close schools.
A measure such as a state of emergency against a novel Coronavirus is unprecedented in peacetime.

Novel Coronavirus is not the reason why it became an unprecedented disaster because of the huge number of deaths and injuries.
At the time of writing, novel Coronavirus had a global total of just over 10,000 deaths and approximately 260,000 infections.
These Numbers are certainly large, but compared with some influenza, at least so far, the toll has been relatively small.
The 1918 flu pandemic was the most devastating global pandemic in modern times, killing an estimated 40 million people.
In 1968, the so-called Hong Kong flu (H3N2 virus) killed more than a million people, some 80,000 in the UK alone.

No, the novel Coronavirus has such a huge global impact because of the way governments, international organizations and the international community have responded to the epidemic.
Taking a long-term view of a disaster can help us look at today’s epidemic crisis from a historical perspective.
Back in 1918, there was no global media or social media to spread every death or chance event to the world.
In many parts of the world, people have been affected by the First World War and have had to be affected by economic and social struggles in order to survive.
But unlike now, the pressure on the government is not so great. People have to see the government trying to do something, not just sit on the sidelines.
After the 1918 outbreak, President WoodrowWilson faced little pressure to respond.
As JohnMBarry, author of the pandemic: the story of history’s deadliest epidemic, notes, “Wilson never made any kind of statement about the outbreak.
He hasn’t said a word publicly about it.”

What history teaches us is that the extent and scope of the devastation cannot explain how people perceive the epidemic or how people and society experience and feel about it.
The way disaster is experienced and the way it affects society is also a consequence of the way society responds to the epidemic.
Ultimately, how society responds to a disaster like the flu pandemic will determine what the long-term legacy of that disaster will be.

A passenger wears a mask in Oxford Street, London, March 19, 2020

Back in 1932, in one of the earliest sociological debates about the meaning of disasters, Lowell Julia Carr argued that “the way a society responds to a disaster may be determined by the speed, scope, complexity, and devastation of the disaster itself, as well as by its culture, morality, and leaders.”
Carr acknowledged that the nature and scope of the disaster played a key role in shaping the public response to the disaster.
But this response, he insists, is also coordinated and influenced by the community’s system of meaning, norms, institutions and leadership.

The key point carr makes is that disasters are defined by humans and not by nature.
“Not every storm, not every earthquake, not every tsunami can be a disaster,” he writes.
If there are no casualties or other serious damage, then “there is no disaster,” Carr said.
This connection between disaster and the destruction of human life and economic activity is itself a result of the modernist imagination.
In the middle ages, author MichaelKemp says, “eclipses and comets were considered disasters because they were interpreted as signs of god’s wrath against human crimes, like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”
No one died, no one was hurt, but at the time, these things were considered disasters.
It is not so much the intensity of human suffering as the powerful signals that are said to emanate from major changes in the physical world.

The epidemic of infectious diseases in the 21st century

The way a society responds to a serious threat like an infectious disease is shaped by its perception of the threat, its sense of existential security, and its ability to give meaning to unpredictable experiences.
All of these responses are influenced by society’s broader cultural script for risk and uncertainty.

Cultural scripts provide citizens with perspectives on many issues, such as how dangerous threats arise and how risky things like epidemics relate to everyday life.
Cultural scripts influence people’s perceptions of their vulnerability and of their resilience.
They communicate the rules of how people should feel in the face of danger.
Individuals, of course, interpret these laws according to their own circumstances and habits.
It’s very useful to think of cultural scripts as a pair of glasses through which people observe and interpret disasters like viral outbreaks.

I should like to point out some of the key characteristics influencing our cultural scripts in the novel Coronavirus unprecedented response today are as follows:

The shift from resilience to vulnerability

From my research in my book Fear: The Hidden Forces that Drive The World, I have concluded that the most important influence on fear today is the dramatic redefinition of personality, what it means to be an individual.
Different cultures and eras have conflicting ideas about personality.
These differences touch on such issues as whether individuals are seen as agents responsible for their own destiny or as persons unable to achieve autonomy.
The meaning of personality also touches on the question of how much pain and suffering society expects individuals to endure.
Should we expect individuals to take risks?
Or do you expect him or her to stay in a safe, risk-free space?

The most important change in the way people view individuals in the 21st century is from the way resilience defines the individual to the way vulnerability defines the individual.
To illustrate this shift, I investigated the different cultural scripts that guided Britain’s response to floods in 1952/1953 and 2000.
These different responses highlight differences in how the disaster itself is handled by society, depending on how we see ourselves and the broader cultural scripts that affect each of us.

The devastating floods of 1952 and 1953 took a heavy toll, and by 2000 the much less devastating floods were viewed through a different cultural framework.
In the 1950s, the cultural script contained the expectation that societies and individuals were capable of coping with the disasters they encountered.
In fact, people are encouraged to interpret a disaster as a test, or a challenge to overcome.

But in 2000, flooding was presented as a uniquely threatening event, potentially engulfing an individual’s ability to cope.
We can see the difference in emphasis in the following passage.
In 1953, a report in The Times of London described a visit by the Queen to flood-affected areas and articulated the official view that people were responding to the disaster “with great courage and boldness”.
The report said the Queen was “deeply impressed by the resilience and heroism of the people who have endured so much pain and sacrifice.”
(TheTimes, 4 february1953)

In contrast, newspapers in 2000 often conveyed the message that the victims of the floods had suffered severe psychological harm.
According to a report in the Guardian, “up to 20% of victims of natural disasters may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”
Many feel depressed, lonely, lose a sense of place and attachment to place or “develop obsessive anxiety in the aftermath of a disaster,” the report said.
Since 2000, people have increasingly used mental health language frameworks to describe flood and other suffering experiences.

In the 1950s, the word “vulnerable” was never used to describe the victims of floods or any other disaster.
Nor would those who suffered from the deadly 1968 influenza pandemic in Hong Kong be called ‘vulnerable’.
The creation of vulnerability as a fundamental human trait began in the early 1980s.
In the four decades since, “vulnerability” has come to be taken for granted as a categorical concept for more and more people.

Today, vulnerability is the defining characteristic of personality.
As a result, cultural scripts that now affect everyday life tend to question people’s ability to cope with experiences of crisis.
Once vulnerability is seen as a triumph over resilience, people’s ability to cope will eventually be compromised.
More importantly, today’s embrace of vulnerability amplifies the sense of helplessness that so many of us experience in an emergency.

Psychological analysis of daily life

The emergence of vulnerability as a defining feature of the human condition has given rise to a new trend of psychological analysis of problems in daily life and experience.
Recently, there has been a great variety of health problems.
More and more conditions that were previously considered normal are now being diagnosed as mental health problems.
Shyness, anxiety, low self-esteem — all have been relabeled as pathologies that need treatment.

This trend towards the medicalization of everyday life is particularly evident in the early childhood sector.
From an early age, children are encouraged to explain their problems through the language of psychology.
Children are unwisely encouraged to see themselves as vulnerable, vulnerable people who need professional support.
We can be sure that novel Coronavirus epidemic is viewed not only as a threat to physical health, but also as a crisis of mental health.

A greatly increased sense of existential insecurity

It is impossible to understand the government’s response to novel Coronavirus without considering the broader signals of human existence transmitted by contemporary culture.

The idea of human beings in existential crisis has been a regular part of life today almost all the time.
The term “extinction of the human race” is casually used in everyday conversation.
Consider the Guardian.
The word extinction appeared 93 times in the newspaper in 1988.
By 2007, that number had risen to 207.
Last year, the word appeared 1391 times, there is no doubt that the environmental group “against extinction” (ExtinctionRebellion) rise and their concept – the survival of mankind influenced by their constant threat.

A worrying symptom of a growing social insecurity is a tendency towards fatalistic fatalism about the future.
As is often the case, epidemics are discussed in terms of inevitability.
We have been warned time and again that “the question is not if, but when” catastrophe is bound to happen.
The catastrophes they refer to tend to be the 1918 flu pandemic, now described as a normal experience in human history, but actually a very rare event.

The worst-case scenario, as opposed to the flu pandemic, took off in the 1970s.
So since then, influenza has gone from a health problem to a global threat to human existence.
The idea that a devastating flu pandemic would occur every decade or so really began to emerge.
The sociologist Robert E. Kennedy.
Robert woosnow, on March 15, 1976, described a memo sent to officials by DavidMatthews, then secretary of health, education and welfare, that read “evidence of a major influenza pandemic this autumn.
The signs are that we are going to see the return of the 1918 flu virus, which was the most deadly.
In 1918, half a million Americans died of the flu, he added, predicting that the virus would “kill a million Americans in 1976.”
Of course, that prediction didn’t happen.

Worst-case thinking has been institutionalised since 1976.
The future has become a canvas on which responsible commentators project their lurid images and alarmist predictions.
A typical supervirus article says, “If nothing changes, the supervirus in orbit will kill 10 million people by 2050.”
The discourse of worst-case ideologies is not only accurate but also vivid.
Superviruses are on track — they are getting closer and closer to the finish line and will kill 10 million people unless they are stopped.
Such alarmist predictions about superviruses are restrained when compared with the claims made in a report by the aid group Dara Ternational.
By 2030, it claims, 100 million people could die “if the world fails to act on climate change”.
That is a relatively modest figure, compared with another prediction that 600 million children will “face death, disease and malnutrition” by 2040 as water supplies dry up.

Alarmist reports on pandemics such as the 1918 flu pandemic and global extinction have created a cultural setting in which a novel Coronavirus can be interpreted as the closing chapter of a real-life disaster movie.
Once this dystopian view of the future enters society’s DNA, governments will find it hard to respond in ways that are commensurate with the real threats facing our society.

You need to develop courage

History shows that the moral imagination provides an important resource for societies to deal with disasters.
If people share a common moral view of life, they can give meaning to the experience of suffering and be able to deal with the threats that confront them and their families.
The common meaning system is the essential foundation of the unity of the community which is indispensable to the novel Coronavirus crisis.

Residents receive free food from westcop Center in New Rochelle, New York, on March 18, 2020

Unfortunately, in this day and age, psychoanalytic values have triumphed over moral values.
Children are taught psychoanalytic values such as self-esteem and emotional literacy.
Historically, our ideas of personality have been based on moral principles and principles of autonomy.
There is a sense that people have a moral obligation to respond to threats based on the virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice.
Courage, in particular, is particularly valued not only as a character trait but also as a way of focusing on taking responsibility for the good of others.
It is essential to the whole imagination of moral action to expect people to respond courageously to harm and danger.

The classical virtue of courage is not about self.
It is rooted in notions of responsibility, altruism and wisdom.
At the moment, courage may seem an old-fashioned, unrealistic ideal, but society really needs to have these virtues, which have long reinforced the human spirit’s triumph over adversity.
Novel Coronavirus is a disaster for mankind, but it should not defeat the intrepid spirit of mankind.
History shows that a disaster like a novel Coronavirus is also a test for human to cope with and overcome adversity.
This is the lesson we must teach ourselves and our younger generation now.

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