The psychology of an epidemic

Kumud Ghosal, Executive Director, Ipsos UU, India & Ashwini Sirsikar, Country Service Line Leader, Ipsos UU, India

ImageLong before COVID-19 made an appearance in China, Philip Strong (2008), a medical sociologist, wrote an interesting essay on ‘Epidemic Psychology: A Model’1. In the essay he talked about three types of psychosocial epidemics which occur alongside an actual medical epidemic – (1) An epidemic of fear and suspicion; (2) An epidemic of interpretation, explanation and moralisation and (3) An epidemic of recipes for treating it.

 

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