[LISTEN] Moral panic and navigating information circulated about COVID-19

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has triggered panic among some people.

How do we make sense of the virus and avoid irrational thoughts or behaviour, in other words, "moral panic"?

Eusebius McKaiser spoke to University of Cape Town critical thinking and philosophy lecturer Jacques Rousseau on how to navigate information that is circulated by experts about the pandemic.

Moral panic is in a sense an irrational response to something where it takes on dimensions of existential risk in one's mind and where one becomes so animated about the issue that one becomes less able to weigh evidence objectively.

Jacques Rousseau, Critical thinking and philosophy lecturer - UCT

People need to realise that they are one amongst billions and that their actions place other people at risk and the problem in framing these things in ways that encourage panic, I think, can make people to be fixated on themselves and forget about this collective problem that we are facing here.

Jacques Rousseau, Critical thinking and philosophy lecturer - UCT

Any kind of speculation about large death rates is enormously irresponsible, it spreads fear and panic.

Jacques Rousseau, Critical thinking and philosophy lecturer - UCT

We certainly do not trivialise it for one minute but that does not mean there are no other dimensions we can talk about at the same time.

Jacques Rousseau, Critical thinking and philosophy lecturer - UCT

Click on the link below to hear more....


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