COVID-19 has put the modern world, including students and faculty at California Baptist University, through an experience unlike any before. Many different types of people have and will emerge from this pandemic. However, the reactions of people toward COVID-19 tend to fit in with one of three responses, according to data collected by a professor at the University of Toronto Canada.
The first group is the panic group, which includes people who react out of an emotional and irrational fear for the future. This group is causing the spread of more false information, fear, doubt and uncertainty throughout social media. They are people who are overwhelmed by fear; as a result, they are not making logical decisions, might be over-analyzing the news too much and experience increased anxiety.
The anti-panic group includes people acting as if nothing extraordinary is happening in the world, living their everyday lives as normally as possible as a result. This attitude would be defined in slang terms as YOLO, and it includes those going out to parties and hanging in groups of 10 or more people. This group tends to have zero worries.
Finally, the last group is the cautious group, a group with an attitude that is more of a balance between the other two.
Elise Chen, sophomore psychology major, described the differences between these three groups.
“These groups can be put on a scale. For example, the panic group would be 100 percent worry while the anti-panic would be the 0 percent worry. The cautious group would be between the 40 to 60 percent worry,” Chen said.
The data on these three attitudes was collected by a professor of theology at the University of Toronto by the name of John Vervaeke. In his research, Vervaeke described the two extreme groups along with the scale and said in an online lecture that this pandemic will surely test the faith of the world.
Dr. Sandra Romo, associate professor of communication, explained how much impact the media can have on one’s attitude during a pandemic.
“These types of groups can be heavily influenced by all types of media,” Romo said.
Romo explained that reactions toward the pandemic may differ depending on media consumption. She also said we consume media to help understand information we are seeking and the media does not tell us what to think but it sets the tone for what we talk about with each other.
“For example, if the news is talking about medicine a lot, then people will be thinking about the next move to buy that certain type of medicine because of the pandemic,” Romo said.
Derek Ma, senior applied theology major, said, “During this tough crisis, the golden rule is to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Ma acknowledged that it was easy to fall into the panic group and be overwhelmed by fear. Ma said he believes the best thing to do is to be calm and collected during these tough times and live life to the best of one’s ability and to show love to others despite the restrictions.
“The most optimal thing to do is stated in Matthew 7:12: ‘Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them,’” Ma said.