THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PANIC: PUBLIC RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHE AND UNCERTAINTY
AuthorKimble, Timothy Brice
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThough each happening is distinctly different, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which first gained public recognition in the 1980s, is similar in many ways to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The similarities and the differences between the two phenomena are compared using various points of comparison: personal financial and psychological health; individual opinion concerning United States’ governmental response and economic trajectory; opinions about public health guidelines; the role of American politics as a public entity; and the distribution and reception of public news. The information pertaining to the HIV/AIDS epidemic was collected through examination and analysis of various printed sources, as well as qualitative interviews with Dr. Kevin Carmichael and Fenton Johnson, who lived and worked through the early years of the epidemic. The information in regards to COVID-19 was collected through an online questionnaire, approved by the University of Arizona Institutional Review Board. The comparison reveals that while historical and technological contexts have changed, American responses towards the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic have largely remained the same.