Culture Wars/Current Controversies

History – And Psychology – Predict Riots And Protests Amid Coronavirus Pandemic Lockdowns

By Nicole Fisher


What’s happening around the globe is both new and old. While SARS-CoV-2 is new, pandemics and the effects of infectious disease are as old as mankind. And when we think about how to grapple with the situation in front of us, we should be looking to the past for guidance – because this is about far more than a pandemic, it’s about humans. Specifically, human behavior.

One of the greatest challenges facing leaders today is determining just how to control the spread of a virus, while not having control over millions (globally billions) of autonomous individuals. Local, state, and federal government are having to make decisions daily (even hourly) about how many restrictions to place on the American people. And if you’ve been following the news, you know that states and cities are taking very different approaches. But as they consider strong restrictions and forced quarantines, it is important to look back at what has happened in the past when those in power place their constituents on lockdown.


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