Social Psychology & Covid-19

Published by Mercy C. Kosonei on


I want to start off with a quote “we cannot be distinguished from our situations for they form us and decide our possibilities” Jean Paul Sarte (1946). Think just for a while what this could mean. The situations surrounding you (for instance, your spouse, children, pets, occupation, people you come in contact with, your community and several other things around you) determine how you live.

Our minds have two ways of constructing social reality, we can either have objective or subjective constructions depending on how we see things.That is to say, how we see things matters most and not what we see. Therefore, the situation we are currently facing with the COVID-19 pandemic is an external force pressing hard on our social reality.


With many terminologies arising due to Covid-19 pandemic, everything is directed towards limiting physical meetings in order to curb the spread of the Novel Corona Virus. However, the words used are very scary and uncomfortable to many people. According to social psychology, human being are wired for connections and therefore social distancing is challenging the way we are wired.

How easy is it to keep social distance in a world where we have grown up interacting with other people? Of course its not easy!

However, with the current technology people have many ways of interacting especially with social media platforms. This  pandemic has made people to innovate even far much better ways of connecting with each other. We therefore have no option but to socialize. Psychologist have suggested that the word ‘social distancing’ is not used appropriately and should be replaced with the phrase ‘physical distancing’.

Isolation is the other scary terminology. While the purpose is reasonable, the process is uncomfortable, especially at the point of sickness when you need people the most. Chances of developing stress related disorders like anxiety, depression and panic attacks is high and actually so far many cases are being reported not only from the victims but also from their family members and their close associates as well.

So what is the solution?

First, I think we should stop using the words ‘social distancing’ and replace it with the phrase ‘physical distancing’ to portray a friendly meaning.

Second, we need to adopt the new ways of connecting especially through the social media platforms; embracing the new norm and not giving in to the uncertainty despairs created by the COVID 19 pandemic. There are many plans to consider, its time to get creative and move on, including working remotely if need be.

Last but not least, reach out! Help others, no man is an island, we all need each other to survive.


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