Psychologist Explains Reason Behind Reckless Behavior Amid Worsening Pandemic

In the last month, COVID-19 cases have increased significantly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The recent numbers top the figures recorded during the first wave of the coronavirus when the pandemic first hit. The rising numbers isn’t the most puzzling factor about this; more puzzling may be the fact that, despite the rising cases, people continue to make plans to meet up with family and friends during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, instead of social distancing.

To help contain the contagion, officials in Philadelphia introduced restrictions last week that limited the number of people in outdoor gatherings and closed museums, gyms and indoor dining. Restrictions on capacity of people in gatherings was also introduced by Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey. The announcement noted that, before the restrictions came in effect, people carried on with their activities, including going to parties and dining out, a normal many had thought was left in a pre-corona world.

But why is it that some individuals thought it best to continue socializing even as the risk of contracting the coronavirus grew?

Assistant psychology professor Melissa Auerbach explains that after a long time of not being able to interact with people in a social setting, individuals grew tired, which allowed them to so easily disregard the growing coronavirus cases when it came to making decisions.

The Temple University professor has studied health risk behaviors and stress; she says that individuals possess fixed mental resources when it comes to self-control. The lack of socializing, the pandemic and the ongoing recession only aids in further depletion of self-control.

Auerbach states that individuals begin the descent into a downward spiral when they are restricted from interacting with others. This may cause people to go for that which conforms to their wants rather than that which is real. She adds that the weather may also have a hand in this behavior, given that both October and November are peak seasonal affective disorder months. This may prompt individuals to seek out their support systems to help them cope with stress or indulge in activities that help them decompress or relax.

Seeing a person in a position of power, such as the president of the United States, flouting the same guidelines that have been implemented to help prevent the spread of the virus may also encourage individuals to engage in these risky exploits.

Regardless, it should be noted that the idea that if you have not contracted the virus yet, you may be impregnable to it is absurd to say the least.

The coronavirus pandemic is certainly a recent challenge, but many biotech companies have been engaged in finding solutions to debilitating conditions that have existed for much long, including cancer. Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI), for example, is a company whose sole aim is to improve cancer diagnosis through the use of AI and data analytics.

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