A ringside view of the 21st century’s deadliest disease
Being a covid patient could make one mull over the theory of 'social proof', by which individuals assume that others’ behaviour is appropriate and they are influenced by others’ actions, attitudes and beliefs
A ringside view of the dreaded covid is not what one would consider remotely desirable. Yet, when one does get a chance, unwittingly as it were, to go through the “jaws of the pandemic", one has to consider it a chance of a lifetime. As I went through a phase of moving from covid negative to positive to “recovered" to “hospitalized" and further, I tried to adopt a detached view and see the disease for what it really is. There were some invaluable lessons, even as I tried to go through Richard Thaler’s Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, for fresh perspectives on my own behaviour. As newspapers splashed the story of a likely new vaccine, I could see that the battle with the pandemic can never be won through vaccines alone. It would require a multi-pronged approach, identifying every stage of the disease, understanding the behavioural dimensions of decision-making at each stage, and designing behavioural interventions for each.