How coronavirus is making us a ‘selfish society’: Psychologist explains the sense of ’emergency’ has triggered our ‘basic animal instinct’ and led to stockpiling and price hikes
- Psychologist said the UK is already becoming ‘selfish’ amid coronavirus fears
- Dr Martina Paglia noted there’s already behaviour like stockpiling and price hikes
- Explained the ‘basic, animal instinct’ overtakes our regular behaviour controls
- Urged people to ‘avoid panicking’ and to be aware of these impulses
Panic surrounding the spread of coronavirus is turning us into a ‘selfish society’, a psychologist has explained.
Dr Martina Paglia, director of the International Psychology Clinic, in London, told how a sense of ’emergency’ and concern over personal safety triggers the part of the brain associated with ‘fight or flight’ and allows ‘basic, animal instinct’ to takeover.
She noted the issues that have already been caused by stockpiling and reports of price hikes, and warned the situation could worsen if people did not change their behaviour.
It comes as a third patient in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus died and the number of cases in Britain shot up to 278 in just 24 hours. The number of global cases reached 107,800, with 3,661 deaths across 95 countries.
Dr Martina Paglia, of the International Psychology Clinic, in London, told how a sense of ’emergency’ triggers the part of the brain associated with ‘fight or flight’ and allows ‘basic, animal instinct’ to takeover. It is what has lead to panic buying (as seen in an ASDA in London)
Dr Paglia explained: ‘During times of uncertainty, the part of the brain that copes with anxiety disrupts another area of the brain that controls behaviour.
‘This usually results in causing fear and group-thinking behaviour, and triggers our fight or flight response, which is our basic, animal instinct’.
The brain is hardwired to react in this defensive manner in order to preserve the individual’s life.
This is essential at times when a person is in immediate danger, however it is currently leading to negative and damaging social behaviour such as xenophobia, stress, hoarding and panic buying, which has the potential of having a huge impact on society, Dr Paglia said.
Dr Paglia urged people to have greater awareness of their own behaviour in order to keep it under control. Pictured, a woman using a face mask on the London Underground last week
She urged people to have greater awareness of their own behaviour in order to keep it under control.
‘We can reduce the urge for fight or flight by being knowledgeable and mindful of the anxious response we may be experiencing’, she continued.
Expert: Dr Martina Paglia, pictured, is a psychologist and Clinical Director of The International Psychology Clinic
‘Try to avoid panicking by understanding and accepting the anxiety, making sure that the information you’re receiving is actual fact rather than just opinion, and take control of your response.
In this way, you’ll feel less anxious and inclined to panic buy. Instead, you’ll find you can make better, calmer, more rational decisions and will even possibly discover that you’re more resourceful than you ever thought.’
A third patient in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus has died, it emerged last night.The male patient, aged over 60, had ‘significant underlying health conditions’ and had recently returned from trip to Italy. He was being treated at North Manchester General Hospital’s specialist regional unit for infectious diseases.
It came as Northern Ireland reported five new cases of coronavirus, adding to the biggest daily rise in the number of cases reported in the UK.
The Department of Health said on Sunday afternoon that as of 9am on Sunday there were 273 coronavirus cases and 64 new patients.
Health chiefs faced serious questions last night as it emerged travellers from Italy, at the centre of Europe’s outbreak with more than 7,000 cases, said they had been able to get off flights to the UK without seeing any officials.
Flights from countries including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia are subject to so-called enhanced monitoring measures. This means that when a passenger feels unwell they should alert the air crew. The pilot will then have to ask the destination airport for permission before anyone can disembark. Leaflets are then handed out to all passengers about calling NHS 111 and self-isolating if they experience a cough, sore throat or temperature.
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