Why Societies Are Resilient to Disasters Like COVID-19

Volunteers distribute food to hundreds of families in Benton Harbor, Michigan, April 2, 2020 (Photo by Don Campbell for The Herald-Palladium via AP Images).
Volunteers distribute food to hundreds of families in Benton Harbor, Michigan, April 2, 2020 (Photo by Don Campbell for The Herald-Palladium via AP Images).

In times of hardship and uncertainty, many people tend to assume the worst-case scenario—or at least plan for it. Followers of the Survivalist movement have taken this idea to an extreme, creating a lifestyle from the perceived inevitability of disaster—be it nuclear war, natural disaster or global pandemic. Inherent in this worldview is the idea that in times of extreme duress, our treasured social bonds break down and we revert to a kind of Hobbesian state of nature, competing with other humans for scarce resources. Dan Gardner, a journalist, author and senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School […]

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