Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic through Terror Management Theory

Terror management theory sheds light on how subconscious death anxiety is driving political polarization and social unrest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashley Bobak, MS
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A new article, published in a special issue of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, explores our societal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of terror management theory (TMT).

In their article, the authors explore the defenses we use to manage death-related anxiety and examine how these defenses have driven people’s responses to the pandemic. They also highlight how understanding the pandemic through TMT could provide insight as to how to best navigate the pandemic in a way that allows for meaningful and purposeful living, but also protects from exposure to the virus. The authors, led by Dr. Tom Pyszcynski, one of the founders of terror management theory, write:

“Although there are many disturbing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, from the perspective of terror management theory, the enormous death toll and highly contagious nature of the virus play especially important roles in spawning the diverse forms of turmoil that have resulted from this crisis. We argue that the salience of death brought on by COVID-19 plays a central role in driving the attitudes and behavior of even those who believe that the dangers of the virus have been vastly exaggerated.”

A key emphasis of TMT is its focus on human beings’ awareness of the inevitability of our own deaths, something that is unique to us as a species. This awareness results in an always-present threat, an ever-looming existential terror about when we will die. However, as continually fearing our demise is not conducive to functioning well in our daily lives, we have developed an “anxiety-buffering system,” which consists of our cultural worldviews, self-esteem, and close relationships with others, as a way to defend against this existential threat.

Cultural worldviews are our way of making sense out of and navigating life. They are beliefs we share with others that provide us with values, behaviors, and answers to questions about the nature of reality and life itself. They also allow us to attain a sense of literal or symbolic immortality.

Literal immortality refers to the belief that after death, there is some continuation of life via an afterlife, such as heaven or reincarnation. Symbolic immortality refers to the idea that we are contributing to something greater than ourselves that will continue after our deaths –-such as family or the greater good.

Self-esteem, from the perspective of TMT, refers to the sense of value we derive from feeling as if we are living up to the standards of our worldview. Our relationships with others validate our worldview and the self-esteem required to maintain our beliefs in our worldviews.

TMT research has highlighted how, when we are reminded of our mortality, we tend to increase our sense of commitment to and defense of our worldview, self-esteem, and relationships–-and contrastingly, when these aspects of our lives are threatened, we are more prone to death-related thoughts. Research has also demonstrated that when these aspects of our lives are strengthened, we are less likely to experience anxiety or engage in anxious behaviors. When we lean on these in response to reminders of our own mortality, we tend to be more resilient.

TMT identifies two different systems of defenses that we use to manage death anxiety, proximal and distal defenses.

Whenever we are consciously thinking of death, proximal defenses are enacted to try to push those thoughts and our worries about our deaths away. We think about death as something that won’t happen until sometime in the distant future. For example, we deny our vulnerability to things that could harm us, or we make efforts to live healthier lifestyles in an attempt to live longer.

Distal defenses, on the other hand, come into play when thoughts of death are not in our conscious awareness, but still easily accessible. Distal defenses involve focusing in on our worldviews and self-esteem, which provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning, as a way to defend against death anxiety.

When applying TMT to the polarized responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are better equipped to make sense of these extreme reactions. The authors point to the constant barrage of media coverage of the virus and death toll statistics that we are inundated with daily, and how, regardless of how deadly the virus turns out to be or our beliefs about the lethality of the virus, we still cannot escape these constant reminders of death.

The authors also highlight the peaceful protests and organized movements across the country in response to police brutality and police murders of African American citizens. While the protests and movements have raised support for Black Lives Matter and police reform, media coverage of violence and looting has also been relentless.

Coupled together, both the pandemic and social unrest, and media coverage of each, has led to a constant bombardment of threatening information and reminders of our mortality.

In addition, efforts to flatten the curve of the virus have resulted in an economic crisis, as many have lost jobs or other sources of income. There have been social costs as well, as individuals are more isolated due to the need for social distancing to stem the virus.

Elsewhere, the impact of isolation on the mental health of children and adolescents has been examined. Others have explored how the most vulnerable in our societies, such as racially and economically marginalized individuals, as well as those diagnosed with highly stigmatized mental health disorders, like psychosis, have been most adversely affected by the pandemic and COVID-19 itself, and have called for governmental responses that address basic needs such as housing, universal income, and peer support.

Further, misinformation and contradictory information on the virus is prevalent across social media and the news media, with partisan news outlets pandering to their supporters rather than providing unbiased information, causing further disruption and misunderstanding.

The authors write:

“The world has suddenly become an even more chaotic, confusing, and hostile place, in which death lurks around every corner, and people struggle to maintain meaning and self-esteem. People are living with the very real threat of death from the pandemic, combined with challenges to their worldviews, loss of jobs, impediments to career goals, and isolation from friends and family who normally validate one’s significance. From a TMT perspective, it is currently far more difficult for virtually all of us to manage the terror of death.”

The authors highlight proximal defenses that have arisen to combat daily reminders of our mortality in reaction to the pandemic, which includes increases in attempts of avoidance, such as drinking alcohol, overeating, and binge-watching television.

They also point to minimizing the perception of the threat as another proximal defense, describing how some individuals have clung to narratives that the virus isn’t as lethal as experts claim, that it’s more akin to the flu or common cold, that it only affects the elderly, that it is a politically-motivated conspiracy created to harm political leaders, or that death rates are inflated as a way for hospitals make money.

Proximal defenses against death that are more adaptive in response to the pandemic include following the recommendations made by health experts to avoid infection, such as handwashing, social distancing, mask-wearing, and increased sanitation practices.

Although coverage of the virus has been unyielding, we aren’t always thinking about it. Doing so would be too disturbing and upsetting for us to handle; it is here distal defenses enter the picture. The authors point to the partisan divide evident in beliefs and responses to the virus, with liberals viewing the virus as more dangerous than conservatives and more likely to believe scientists and medical professionals’ expertise. Conservatives view the virus as less dangerous, more likely to attribute it to China and other foreigners, and perceiving the virus as being a conspiracy against Donald Trump.

While divisions between the left and right were prevalent before the advent of the pandemic, Trump’s handling of the pandemic has resulted in an even greater divide between the two opposing ideologies. Conservatives tend to favor easing restrictions and reopening business and public spaces, while liberals tend to support social restrictions to curve the spread of the virus.

Describing the political division in the wake of the pandemic, the authors write:

“In many U.S. cities, protests against government restrictions were primarily attended by conservatives, some brandishing assault rifles, and White nationalist symbols. Despite initial sentiment that ‘we’re all in this together,’ the pandemic has become yet another domain for ideological division.”

TMT research provides insight into this polarization. While reminders of death have been shown to lead to a shift toward conservative attitudes, regardless of political affiliation, reminders of death have also been associated with increased polarization.

The authors point to the reactions to the police killing of George Floyd, discussing how while it certainly wasn’t the first unjust police murder of an African American individual, it has resulted in more intensified reactions than we have seen in response to other incidents of police brutality and murder. They argue that the death thought accessibility brought about by the pandemic is likely the cause of these intensified reactions, as individuals probably joined the cause as a way to gain a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives, something that is especially important during a time when individuals are confronted with the loss of things that usually provide life with meaning, such as jobs, social relationships, etc.

The authors described how although involvement in protests may be an attempt to defend against death, it ironically, may also increase the risk of death as protestors, who typically hold the same leftist views as those who believe social distancing should be engaged in, are participating in mass gatherings that could increase risk of infection, and also are under threat of violence from police and counter-protestors. These individuals are therefore placed in a position wherein they are strengthening their worldviews and finding a sense of purpose by protesting against racial injustices, while also putting themselves in danger, both of physical violence and infection.

The psychological distress associated with the pandemic is also explored by the authors, who describe how death anxiety has increased, with recent research highlighting an increased sense of anxiety and fear related to physical wellbeing. Additionally, when death anxiety is unable to be managed effectively, it can lead to harmful ways of coping with stress, which we have also seen in relation to the pandemic, such as gargling bleach to try to avoid becoming infected, or using opiates or gambling as a distraction from the virus.

This psychological distress has been further heightened by job loss and other significant losses of meaningful pursuits, such as educational and financial goals, as well as connections to our social worlds, all of which are distal defenses we commonly rely on to combat death anxiety – and all of which have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Understanding the psychological impacts of the pandemic from a TMT perspective allows for a less pathologized view of these reactions. Similarly, others have cautioned against pathologizing the psychological distress associated with the pandemic, arguing that it is a normal response to extreme circumstances.

In exploring ways to reduce death anxiety, the authors suggest reducing social media exposure, which is connected to poorer mental health. They also recommend adhering to practices indicated by the scientific community and medical professionals to avoid infection. Moreover, they suggest that finding new ways of creating meaning and connection, such as through participating in social activities that are “COVID-friendly” and by engaging in home-based hobbies like baking or exercise.

Overall, understanding responses to the pandemic from the lens of TMT sheds light on the politically polarized reactions to the virus, as well as the social unrest that has developed across the United States. Conceptualizing COVID-19 from this perspective could be beneficial in allowing us to better navigate the nuances of pandemic living, in such a way that enables us to prevent infection while also living a life that is filled with meaning.

 

****

Pyszczynski, T., Lockett, M., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (2020). Terror management theory and the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 00(0), 1-17. DOI: 10.1177/0022167820959488 (Link)

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Ashley Bobak, MS
Ashley Bobak is a PsyD student in Clinical-Community Psychology at Point Park University and has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She is interested in the intersections of philosophy, history, and psychology and is using this intersection as a lens to examine substance addiction. She hopes to develop and promote alternative approaches to conceptualizing and treating psychopathology that maintain and revere human dignity.

28 COMMENTS

  1. “In exploring ways to reduce death anxiety, the authors suggest reducing social media exposure, which is connected to poorer mental health. They also recommend adhering to practices indicated by the scientific community and medical professionals to avoid infection. Moreover, they suggest that finding new ways of creating meaning and connection, such as through participating in social activities that are “COVID-friendly” and by engaging in home-based hobbies like baking or exercise.”

    And media exposure concerning “mental health” is also harmful since it is directly related to people thinking of their anxieties as a “mental illness” leading to looking for support within an industry that at best further makes a person feel that somehow they did not pass being part of the normal people, and at worst damages people with chemicals, resulting in deaths and ill health.
    The belief in their illness being damaging itself. So if thinking of death on a daily basis is bad for “mental health”, how bad is it for you to think of yourself as a “mentally unwell” person?

  2. I agree, “misinformation and contradictory information on the virus is prevalent across social media and the news media, with partisan news outlets pandering to their supporters rather than providing unbiased information, causing further disruption and misunderstanding.”

    “From a [terror management theory (TMT)] perspective, it is currently far more difficult for virtually all of us to manage the terror of death.”

    What’s good is it’s not so bad for those of us who’ve already dealt with 14 attempted murders, via anticholinergic toxidrome poisonings, by “mental health” workers. Resulting in a “born again” type experience. Since we’re not afraid of dying, because we’ve already been judged by God, and been “reborn.”

    I agree, “binge-watching television” is a really bad idea. Stopping that was the only good advice I ever got from a “mental health” worker.

    “They also point to minimizing the perception of the threat as another proximal defense, describing how some individuals have clung to narratives that the virus isn’t as lethal as experts claim, that it’s more akin to the flu or common cold,”

    Which is actually the truth, given the reality that all “corona” viruses are cold viruses. And Corona19 is not as lethal as the MSM is telling us.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/general-information.html

    Forgive me, the other link I’d hope to provide, has already been censored from the internet.

    “that it only affects the elderly, that it is a politically-motivated conspiracy created to harm political leaders, or that death rates are inflated as a way for hospitals make money.” I do think it was pushed to harm Trump, but also believe Covid19 has financially harmed US hospitals.

    “The authors point to the partisan divide evident in beliefs and responses to the virus, with liberals viewing the virus as more dangerous than conservatives and more likely to believe scientists and medical professionals’ expertise.”

    “Conservatives tend to favor easing restrictions and reopening business and public spaces, while liberals tend to support social restrictions to curve the spread of the virus.”

    Yes, Covid19 is a psy-op, propagated by unethical, liberal “mental health” psychologists and psychiatrists, wanting to cover up the scientific fraud of their industries.

    Resulting in “the pandemic has become yet another domain for ideological division.”

    But I don’t agree, “when death anxiety is unable to be managed effectively, it can lead to harmful ways of coping with stress, such as gargling bleach to try to avoid becoming infected,” is a bad idea.

    Since gargling with a concentrate of half water half hydrogen peroxide has been known as a reasonably wise idea, by the dentists, since my dentist grandfather’s time. But I do agree, “using opiates or gambling as a distraction from the virus” are bad ideas.

    “This psychological distress has been further heightened by job loss and other significant losses of meaningful pursuits, such as educational and financial goals, as well as connections to our social worlds, all of which are distal defenses we commonly rely on to combat death anxiety – and all of which have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.”

    “the authors suggest reducing social media exposure, which is connected to poorer mental health” is a good idea. But turning off the mainstream media is a better idea.

    • I do think it was pushed to harm Trump, but also believe Covid19 has financially harmed US hospitals.

      Actually hospitals get paid a dividend for every patient they can attach the word “COVID” to, even if it’s for a test they don’t want or need, and the person tests negative. If you die from a car crash with COVID in your system it’s likely to be labeled a COVID death.

      • Oldhead

        What is your point here?

        Are you trying to say that the Covid 19 statistics are being deliberately inflated and that the pandemic is not very serious and/or a “hoax.”

        For someone who historically has never been one to hide his views, why are you being so “cryptic” in your last few posts in this comment section?

        Richard

        • I’ve made my views very clear. You suddenly have an amazing amount of trust in the capitalist system and its social engineers. (And certainly the statistics are being manipulated, it’s not rocket science.)

          This shit killed my mother, in case you don’t know. So I don’t make my comments lightly.

  3. Someone Else

    You said:
    “… given the reality that all “corona” viruses are cold viruses. And Corona19 is not as lethal as the MSM is telling us…. I do think it was pushed to harm Trump…”

    Are you suggesting that Covid 19 is a “hoax” as Trump and his supporters have promoted, and that precautions against its spread are only meant to harm the president?

    You said:
    “But I don’t agree, “when death anxiety is unable to be managed effectively, it can lead to harmful ways of coping with stress, such as gargling bleach to try to avoid becoming infected,” is a bad idea…Since gargling with a concentrate of half water half hydrogen peroxide has been known as a reasonably wise idea, by the dentists, since my dentist grandfather’s time.”

    Are you suggesting that gargling with water and hydrogen peroxide is the equivalent of gargling with, or ingesting bleach into the human body?

    Richard

  4. Certainly part of the universal trauma response to the the Covid 19 pandemic experience is watching NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE on a mass scale being carried out in real time. The current President and all his cowardly followers in political leadership must bear ultimate responsibility for these tragic losses.

    Many health experts have indicated that 80 to 90 percent of all the Covid 19 deaths could have been prevented with a simple willingness to follow a mask policy and social distancing. This means that over 160,000 deaths COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED.

    The silence in this comment section on these questions is deafening.

    How can we expect people to accept our devastating critique of the dangers and harm done by psychiatry and their Medical Model, when some would be leaders against psychiatric abuses CANNOT consistently apply the scientific method to analyzing the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic???

    Richard

    • I think this line of discussion goes a bit beyond our usual boundaries. But perhaps it is important to at least touch those boundaries now and again.

      Here we explore how psychiatry has been abusing its status as a “medical science” to get dangerous drugs approved and administered to trusting “patients.” It has been doing this for about half a century now. The dangers, harm, and lack of effectiveness of these treatments has been copiously documented, if they were not realized from the beginning. Yet the wider profession of medicine has done little if anything to get psychiatry into line and walking down a more ethical path.

      What, then, does that say about the ethics level of the wider profession of medicine?

      Why should we trust “medical experts” (mostly academics or bureaucrats) over the testimony of practicing clinicians concerning the advisability and effectiveness of certain “treatments” for this pandemic? And over the opinions of other very knowledgeable and concerned citizens from all walks of life, for that matter?

      There is also a strong argument to be made that hundreds of thousands of deaths COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED by cancelling the lockdowns and mask mandates and de-demonizing hydroxychloroquine, zinc, vitamins C and D, hyperbaric oxygen, and the other therapies that have worked in practice to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients. To say nothing of the collateral damage being caused by the lockdowns themselves.

      It is EXPECTED that the “scientific model” can be used by different persons to achieve different conclusions. Science was never intended to be the final arbiter in public policy, at least not in a free society.

      Science is fine for informing a rational discussion. But it is misused, I think, when it forces us into irrational debates, or into making decisions that violate basic human rights, rights which are supposed to be granted by God, not by science. This discussion is about basic human rights, not just about the effectiveness of various theories or treatments.

      I hope this relieves the “deafening silence” to some degree.

      • Commenting as moderator:

        I have a suggestion. It is clear that we could go on and on about how this is proven or not proven or this is the right approach or that approach is really dumb and anyone who agrees with it is a fascist traitor and on and on. But I think you’re right – science does not make political decisions, and political decisions themselves can’t be altered by science. So let’s stick to the stuff that CAN be determined with more certainty!

        If someone believes hydrochloroquine works, please, share the studies showing that is true! If someone believes it’s dangerous, please share the source of that information – what side effects have been shown in studies to occur, and what’s the cost-benefit analysis? If someone thinks masks are dangerous, where is the data? If you believe they’re helpful, let us know the scientific reasons why.

        The last time this discussion got started, it degenerated into a rhetorical shouting match that had to be discontinued. I don’t want that happening again. Let’s debate the issue like the intelligent, mature adults we all are, and put out the pros and cons without the hype and fear. After all, we’re not going to change the minds of most people by telling them they are wrong. Let’s put the data out there and let people decide for themselves! I’d be happy to be educated, especially about the value of Zinc and Vitamin C and D.

        So my suggestion here: instead of wasting time about whether Trump’s or Biden’s plans are good or bad or bad and worse, why don’t WE bring the science together and examine it? How about educating each other in a mutually respectful environment, and then we can all decide which plan(s) seems best to us? Does that sound do-able?

        I very much doubt bringing psychiatry to an end will realistically occur if people on the same side can’t work out a way of communicating respectfully about things we don’t agree about. Thoughts?

        • I feel the need to maintain a balance between providing references to back up my assertions and expecting others to “do their own homework.”

          For example, we ordinarily do not provide references to back up our comments about the failures of psychiatry, though such references are numerous and most can be found or at least reported on at this website.

          While that is not the case with broader medical-policy issues, such as this current pandemic and responses to it, I assume – perhaps erroneously – that these sites are known about or findable. I can list some below.

          Beyond that, my point is that these issues to some extent transcend the boundaries of science and public policy to more fundamental subjects like human rights and human consciousness. In some ways this current debate reflects a very old debate concerning the rights of the individual versus the interests of group survival, which goes far beyond the usual boundaries.

          Since I have “nothing better to do” these days, I have spent quite a bit of time trying to find trustworthy information about this new disease and how to treat it. I have searched far afield. I trust some data that others, perhaps, would not. But here are some sites that draw heavily on the experience of real doctors and other experts:

          https://covid19criticalcare.com/
          https://americasfrontlinedoctors.us/
          https://www.grassrootshealth.net/project/our-scientists/
          https://swprs.org/on-the-treatment-of-covid-19/

          This is far from an exhaustive list.

          • Thank you, Larry! That is very helpful.

            And I agree with you – it is one of those arguments like nature/nurture that can go on forever but not be resolved. Some of it gets down to values and priorities, and some comes down to perceptions vs. reality. The second part can be addressed through research, at least in part. The first is not resolvable except through quality communication, which I find few take the time to learn or execute.

  5. God help us!
    Bottom line: Do as we say and you will “feel better.”
    No thanks, buddy.

    TMT is not a theory with particularly solid foundations, and seems to be used here mostly to remind us that we should be afraid of death and things that cause death, like this virus. These authors (THE TMT guys) want us to believe what we are told about the virus and go ahead and be scared.

    For me, what undermines their arguments the most is that they don’t know what death really is and show no interest in going there. One of the best (and well-reported) psychological boosters for the fear of death is to remember a time when you died. Here is one link to people who do this sort of research:

    https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/our-research/near-death-experiences-ndes/

    I feel gaslighted by this article and see the implications it is making as harmful, unscientific, and negligent. It disregards important methods for improving one’s attitude towards life in the face of a phenomenon we all know is inevitable.

  6. Bottom line: Trump’s handling of the pandemic has been horrendous. The Biden plan is worse.

    Trump at least has restrained himself from seeking a national mandate that would impose all the lockdowns and the mask orders and distancing from a FEDERAL level.

    He’s left the hatchet jobs to the governors of the states. In that action, or inaction, he’s left the door open to uneven and various levels of control, depending on relative levels of insanity of these governors. he Biden design is the “liberal” design, which is the we-love-everyone-and-we-are-the-scientists fascist design…

    https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/10/05/covid-mind-control-creates-the-biden-plan/

    • “In that action, or inaction, he’s left the door open to uneven and various levels of control, depending on relative levels of insanity of these governors”

      Same here, all left to the State Premiers. Which is a worry because the stress of it all has our Premier claiming that he is being “ambushed” by the Prime Minister. Why on Earth the Prime Minster would do such a thing is beyond me, and i have concerns for his mental health. His delusions of persecution not immediately apparent to the community who are going along with his “fortress” plan lol.

      The Prime Minister acting in the best interests of the Nation, which is more than can be said of the State authorities who ‘fuking destroy’ citizens who complain about public sector misconduct and have the misfortune of having the proof.

      Maybe he wants a golf shot named after him. An Adolf Hitler, two shots in a bunker. A Princess Premier, The trees are out to get me lol

      I assume police would find their copy of the Criminal Code if he was ‘spiked’ and snatched from his bed and dropped to a locked ward for interrogation. And the Chief Psychiatrist might require more than a ‘suspicion’ for him to be force drugged and incarcerated by a Community Nurse. Not what you know but who in my Town.

      • “Ambushed”?

        The Prime Minister sends out an email that coincidentally is the same time as our Premier is attending to the Media. They have the email , and he doesn’t. And he is asked what he thinks about the content of said email and claims he was “ambushed”.

        Mate, your lucky the clinic psychologist didn’t want to ask you a question or two because if you refuse to answer they will ‘spike’ you into unconsciousness, plant items on you for police to find, and the have you jumped in your own bed now ready for 7 hours of interrogation.

        That’s “Ambushed”. And you people have the Gaul to slander me as paranoid for complaining about it?

        You want the right to be allowed to prepare for questions? You obviously haven’t been keeping up with the ‘advances’ being made in the area of mental health. They have crossed over from ‘coercive methods’ to acts of torture.

        Oh, and you don’t need to be too concerned about having words put in your mouth via the corrupt practice of ‘verballing’ on sworn statements. Or the “editing” of documents to create false legal narratives for lawyers which will see you life ‘fuking destroyed’.

    • Oldhead

      It is a serious matter when we provide links to internet articles and websites. I would hope that you had carefully vetted this source before steering others to possibly immerse themselves into this author’s writings.

      I took over an hour of my time to careful review the internet website (including his Facebook page and other writings) of Jon Rappaport, the author you chose to use in order to promote some of your concerns about government policy on the pandemic.

      What I found was a man who is steeped in bizarre conspiracy theories that are unproven, including a hardcore anti-vaxx analysis, and other far out Right Wing theories of thought control, combined with ultra Libertarian views on individual liberty.

      This man uses all of his conspiracy theories and bizarre forms of fear mongering as a means to SELL his two books called, “Exit From The Matrix” and “Power Outside The Matrix.” These will cost you $250.00. He is also selling his personal advisory capacity. I am highly concerned for anyone that would take this man’s advice on ANY topic of importance.

      I found most of what I read by Jon Rappaport, to be virtually incomprehensible, and clearly out of touch with reality.

      Oldhead, are you also against all vaccines, as this man has described as a dangerous conspiracy?

      Richard

  7. This was signed by THOUSANDS of scientists and health experts: https://gbdeclaration.org/

    Preface:

    As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.

    Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

    • POSTING AS MODERATOR:

      In fairness to Oldhead, I have posted this last response (since Richard specifically referred to him in his post).

      I will be following Robert’s directive from here onward, and post things that relate to Terror Management Theory. Comments re: COVID are welcome as long as they are presented in that context. Any attempts to personalize negative responses will not be posted.

      • Thank you Steve.
        I think it is very important to not get sidetracked
        as to what is really happening around this bad flu.
        It is affecting kids who are on psych drugs, it affects the aged,
        it affects adults who are compromised by either conditions
        or drugs, it results in very mismanaged care in hospital.
        A hospital will never EVER write in it’s papers that they should
        not have put a person on a respirator, and that the respirator complicated
        the care and resulted in further deterioration.
        A future “healthcare” management will never admit that having children’s lives
        turned upside down and that being told that gramma might die if they go near her
        will of course scare the crap out of them.
        How making kids constantly focus on masks and handwashing will result in psych asking them “why do you wash your hands so much”, “why are your hands so dry”
        How the ailments that crop up in people will never be admitted to be parts of environments or drugs or vaccines.

        Pharma/therapy and psych are the biggest benefactors of the “pandemic” so I was hoping to see more on that. It would be great if there could crop up parent run informational places of how not to hound their kids constantly about hand washing outside of the norm, how it is just a bad flu so a bit of extra care might be taken, but to keep telling the kids that bad flus and catchy colds and lice happen every year.
        I think kids are not aware that even a minor cold in an old person can result in that last straw.
        There is so much at stake, and that is not disputable. We are not here to dispute that there is a nasty flu. Was hoping that even those who are scared of this flu would help make it about the MUCH further reaching effects of the adverts and media and the forever “liability concerned” medical people.
        How this not only affects people to “seek out mental care”, but how it affects control of herds, how it affects “management”.

        And if people think that the medical community is truth seeking, give your head a shake.

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