UA-142647510-2 Pandemic Panic (Part 2) - COVID19, Communication and Pandemic Uncertainty

Episode 43

Part 2 of our discussion on pandemic fears. As the current outbreak in China continues to evolve in both scale and impact, we take the time to review current status, hear some interesting news regarding the coronavirus outbreak in China, and explore the importance of communication tactics. 

It is time to continue our discussion on pandemic mania. While I originally planned, and promised, that we would begin exploring the history of the Spanish Flu, as is usual with our topics that begin as envisioned two-parters, quickly become trilogies. The reason for this is two-fold. First and foremost, the coronavirus, as suspected, had a lot of news since Part 1. Not only does the coronavirus have an official name, but the world has been issued an official naming convention. The hot new website development trend is to set up a coronavirus information dashboard, and some pretty fascinating conspiracy theories have surfaced regarding the origin of the coronavirus. Oh, and spotlight envy has generated backlash against coronavirus media coverage and public focus, as we are now being reminded that the flu and flu-related illness was the real killer and this flash in the pan interloper needs to be put in it’s place. 

Secondary to all this, the Spanish flu has been a fascinating research effort, and in truth I knew I would not do it justice trying to get the episode out, while also keeping up with all things Coronavirus. As it is, this episode is releasing much later than I planned. The Spanish flu is inseparably linked to World War 1, which means that historical research is more than just a medical timeline of outbreaks and tracking statistics.  Part 3 will give us plenty of room to discuss the 1918 Influenza Outbreak without having to preface the episode with lots of current events updates at the top of the episode. 

All this today, and a little theoryology as we explore the psychology of pandemic, and try to understand why we respond the way we do, and what approaches are being taken by world governments, international organizations, and news media, intentionally to shape the public response. 

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