BiPiSci: Skeptic Check: Pandemic Fear (3/14/2020)

Playlist for Show: Big Picture Science

Hosts: Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley

Contagion aside, coronavirus is a powerful little virus.  It has prompted a global experiment in behavior modification: elbow bumps instead of handshakes, hand sanitizer and mask shortages, a gyrating stock market.

Pragmatism motivates our behavior toward the spread of this virus, but so do fear and panic. In 1918, amplified fear made the Spanish Flu pandemic more deadly.

Can we identify when we’re acting sensibly in the face of COVID-19, or when fear has hijacked our ability to think rationally and protect ourselves?

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