13.03.2020

Understanding the psychological response to Coronavirus

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Understanding the psychological response to…

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As a student of neuroscience I’m fascinated by the different reactions the Coronavirus has set off in everyone. When we feel under threat it’s natural for the emotional part of our brains to become more active as we try to protect ourselves. This part of our brain is much faster and more powerful than the slower thinking part of our brain and in response we’ve seen: 

The fight response: Blame the government.

The flight response: Rush out and buy up all the toilet rolls and hand gel you can find.

The freeze response: It’s just flu, isn’t it?

The flock response: Find solace in social media.

By contrast, our slower working, thinking part of the brain, once it can catch up and calm our emotions down, would instead look at the data, realise that we are unlikely to die even if we catch the virus and take common sense precautions given the situation.


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