• EAP and COVID-19, 2021: The New Psychology of Pandemics: COVID-19 and Beyond

      Taylor, Steven, Ph.D. (2021-03-02)
      The National Behavioral Consortium (NBC) hosted a presentation on March 2, 2021 by author Dr. Steven Taylor on the New Psychology of Pandemics: COVID-19 and Beyond. In October 2019, a few weeks before the outbreak of COVID-19, Dr. Taylor published a book titled “The psychology of pandemics: Preparing for the next global outbreak of infectious disease” (Cambridge Scholars Publishing). At the time, no previous book had brought together, in an integrated fashion, findings from diverse fields in psychology and related disciplines to understand the vital role played by psychology in pandemics. In fact, at the time few people other than a small group of experts understood the importance of psychological factors in the spreading versus containment of pandemic-related disease, distress, and social disruption. During COVID-19 there has been an explosive growth of research into the psychology of pandemics, including work conducted by Dr. Taylor’s research group. The total amount of psychological research conducted throughout the world during the first year of COVID-19 has exceeded the volume of research published for all previous pandemics and related outbreaks. A great deal of new knowledge has accrued, leading to many important advances in understanding and managing disease, distress, and social disruption. Once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, we will have to adapt to life in a “post COVID” world, and there will be new pandemics on the horizon. For various reasons, pandemics and other disease outbreaks will become more prevalent in the coming years. We no longer have the luxury of forgetting the past. This presentation describes the new psychology of pandemics. Findings concerning COVID-19 are placed in context by comparing them to information from past pandemics. The presentation reviews the current state of knowledge of the various forms of pandemic-related psychological phenomena and how they might be addressed at an individual and a societal level. We need to address the growing “pandemic fatigue” that is emerging, prepare for a post-COVID world, and prepare for the next pandemic. (Excerpted from NBC Meeting Brochure)