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The pandemic is spreading panic. Here's the science behind why.

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https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/reference/modern-history/why-we-evolved-to-feel-panic-anxiety/

nationalgeographic.com

The pandemic is spreading panic. Here's the science behind why.
Since the coronavirus began spreading across the world, we've learned a lot about the lengths to which people will go for a roll of toilet paper, a tube of hand sanitizer or a face mask.

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Panic buying

Panic buying

Panic-buying supplies is one way people have coped with uncertainty over epidemics. People feel like their survival is threatened, and they need to do something to feel like they're in control.

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Causes of panic

Panic starts when the emotional center of the brain wants us to get out of harm's way now, with no care how we do it. However, the part of the brain that...

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Serious drawbacks of panic

Serious drawbacks of panic

When we're in immediate danger of being run over by a car, the most rational response may be flight or freeze. But serious drawbacks may make us think only of ourselves, leaving loved-ones e...

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Uncertainty can drive panic

During this pandemic, we are inundated with information. We receive inconsistent messaging from governments, the media, and public health authorities.

All the varied recommendations fuel...

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Our psychological biases

  • Availability bias: When you've heard or read about something a lot, it is easy to imagine yourself in that situation. That ease of simulating the scenario overwhelms your ...

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A "good" time to panic

Some amount of anxiety can be good in the face of a disaster. Fear can be a motivator. It reminds us to wash our hands and even stock up on essentials.

However, people who experience ...

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Economic Free Fall

Economic Free Fall

The current pandemic has led to an economic free fall which is unparalleled in history. In the US alone, the unemployment rate plummeted at such a speed that more than 10 million have claimed unemp...

The Lockdown: U.S.

The Pandemic Lockdown in the U.S. directly affects the livelihood of a shocking 80% of American workers who work in retail, real estate, education, entertainment and restaurants.
Many of these offices and stores are not going to open after that.

The Lockdown: Europe And Asia

  • In Europe, The north of Italy, which is the main tourist hub, is seeing a collapse in economic activity, along with Germany, which is falling at a steeper rate than the United States. Even countries like Japan, which are not hit that hard, are about to witness an apocalyptic fall.
  • In India, with the abrupt 21 days shutdown, which was recently extended by another 19 days, only a small percentage of the 1.3 billion population is covered by any social security, and millions of daily wage or migrant workers, have no hope, future or place to stay.

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Panic Buying

Panic Buying

The world is seeing panic buying in supermarkets, with items like toilet paper, milk, soda, hand sanitizers, etc. flying off the shelves, especially in places with confirmed cases of the virus.

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Downsides of Panic Buying

  • Panic buying makes people feel in charge of the situation, while seemingly mundane measures like hand-washing, which are actually impactful, seem ordinary.
  • The problem comes when people overbuy in their over-panicked state of mind (irrational stockpiling), making the shortages worse than they really are.
  • Speculators also take advantage of panic buying and raise prices of essential items like face masks, forcing companies to take appropriate measures.

Loss Aversion

..is a principle which makes people do things so that they don't feel regretful later. 

People are panic-buying for the same reason too, with social media and news media amplifying the sense of scarcity.

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Mindfulness

... is a collection of practices aimed at helping us to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment.

Meditation sharpens your attention

Meditation helps to counter our tendency to stop paying attention to new information in our environment. Other studies have found that mindfulness meditation can reduce mind-wandering and improve attention.

Larger randomized controlled trials are still needed to understand how meditation might work with other treatments to help people manage attention-deficit disorders.

Consistent meditation

Long-term, consistent meditation mindfulness changes our ability to handle stress in a better, more sustainable way.

  • Practicing meditation reduces the inflammatory response in people exposed to psychological stressors.
  • Mindfulness practices help us to be less reactive to stressors and to recover better from stress when we experience it. 

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