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The Psychology behind “I don’t care” attitude towards Covid-19 self-precautions

first_img“Once you start making the effort to ‘wake yourself up’- that is, be more mindful in your activities- you suddenly start appreciating life a lot more”- Robert Biswas DienerIn these days of high number of Covid-19 infections, one can see only with disbelief and mystery that still some people in India are not serious about self-precaution- wearing masks and following social distancing. All are out in public places with masks but some people are not wearing it properly. In front of police officers, people are wearing the masks and practising social distancing due to the fear of potential police actions. Unfortunately, in the absence of police, wearing of masks and social distancing are not strictly followed by some people. The Medical bodies are fearing that this is the key reason for the spike in Covid cases.These days, one cannot escape from the Covid-19 news including its self-precautions from TVs and other mediums. One cannot pass any major traffic junction without coming to the attention of Police officers, who enforce wearing of masks and the social distancing. Stoppage of offenders and application of penalties by the officers are common. The loud and clear message from everywhere is, if you step out of your home, wear mask and practice social distancing without any fail. These simple precautions are the only things one can do to protect himself, his family and his community from the highly contagious Covid-19 virus, as there are no proper medicines at the moment.The number of Covid cases and associated deaths have increased exponentially in India over the last four months. The daily cases reported over the last seven days is about 50,000 and a risk of  communal spread is very much existing in many parts of the country like the “Damocles sword”. People should be now more vigilant and take all precautions seriously than before. Unfortunately, some people behave totally opposite to what was expected, and care less about wearing the masks and social distancing though it won’t cost anything. Why some people are less serious about following self-precautions than before, when the number of infections were very less and only limited to some hot spots? More logical response to the above question can be found in the 1943 book “The Structure of Morale” by the Canadian Psychiatrist J.T. MacCurdy. If we apply his theory to the Covid-19 crisis, the following can be easily inferred.People can be broadly classified into three categories. The First group of people — those who were infected and deceased. They experienced the most severe part of Covid infection and lost their life forever. However, the resilience of the society/country depends on the reaction of the survivors.The Second group of people–those who were infected and undergone treatments, but fully recovered. They experienced the troubles and were horrified. Luckily they got cured and came back to their life. They are the people with extreme fear associated with Covid infection. They live with the haunting memories of shock and horror they witnessed.The Third group of people: Those who are not infected(including those who are/were infected without being aware of it) or have not experienced the real effect of Covid. These are the people who watch, read and discuss about Covid and its devastating impacts, but not personally felt the real tragedy of Covid. Since they weren’t infected after many months of exposure, there is a sense of overconfidence mixed with a flavour of invulnerability. They unconsciously start to think they are invincible. This feeling is there in some of the third category people and they are unknowingly losing the seriousness about precautions quite often.Under the above circumstances, the medical and Police Departments should relentlessly continue with the campaign against Covid to increase the public awareness more than ever. As the lack of seriousness happens in private places (absence of police and medical staff), it is the solemn duty of every citizen to correct the people who don’t wear masks and practice the social distancing. The Govt. should empower the citizens and private establishments to correct the offenders effectively and timely. One person’s carelessness is a potential harm to the society/community/country.last_img read more