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Friday, December 11, 2020

Coronavirus live updates: Daily U.S. death toll will exceed 9/11′s for months, CDC director says

The Psychology of Loss and Threat I find it interesting the way our minds handle causality. Our emotional response to a given loss of life seems to be conditioned by the cause of the loss and not necessarily by the quantity of the loss. For instance, we lost some 3,000 people in the 9/11 attack. And, we have been losing 1,000-3,000 lives every single day for months now due to Covid-19. We as a nation were in shock and outrage with the 9/11 loss. But, we don't have an equivalent outrage with a 9/11-equivalent loss of lives day after day. Our emotional state appears to be more resigned and "meh." Intolerable = 3,000 lives lost once to an external attack Tolerable = 3,000 lives lost daily to a preventable disease So, it appears quantity of lives lost is not sufficient to elicit a like emotional response. It seems that our emotional response is dependent on the cause of the loss. If the loss is caused by an external threat (intruder or other outside external actor), we feel it more vehemently. If it's from an internal source or from a natural phenomenon, we are less outraged. External threats also seem to unite a people--at least transiently while the threat persists then internal factions resurface once the external threat is removed. I'm sure there's a psychological term or concept for this. I'm not schooled in such concepts to put terminology to it. Feel free to drop some knowledge.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

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