(2nd April 2020)
For weeks, almost every newspaper has stories about the coronavirus pandemic on its front page; radio and TV programmes have back-to-back coverage on the latest death tolls; and depending on who you follow, social media platforms are filled with frightening statistics, practical advice or gallows humour.
As others have already reported, this constant bombardment can result in heightened anxiety, with immediate effects on our mental health. But the constant feeling of threat may have other, more insidious, effects on our psychology. Due to some deeply evolved responses to disease, fears of contagion lead us to become more conformist and tribalistic, and less accepting of eccentricity.