18th World Seminar on COVID-19 & Vaccination
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Accepted Abstracts

Political Economy of Mass Neurosis during the COVID-19 Crisis

Antonio Sanchez-Bayon*, Philipp Bagus, Jose Antonio Pena-Ramos
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain

Citation: Sanchez-Bayon A, Bagus P, Pena-Ramos JA (2021) Political Economy of Mass Neurosis during the COVID-19 Crisis. SciTech Central COVID-19.

Received: February 09, 2021         Accepted: February 10, 2021         Published: February 10, 2021


Using the background of COVID-19, we study past mass neurosis and its social-economic impact. Negative information which is spread through mass media repetitively can affect public health negatively in the form of nocebo effects and mass hysteria. We argue that mass and digital media in connection with the state may have had adverse consequences during the COVID-19 crisis. The resulting collective hysteria may have contributed to policy errors by governments not in line with health recommendations. While mass hysteria can occur in societies with a minimal state, we show that there exist certain self-corrective mechanisms and limits to the harm inflicted, such as sacrosanct private property rights. However, mass hysteria can be exacerbated and self-reinforcing when the negative information comes from an authoritative source, when the media are politicized, and social networks make the negative information omnipresent. We conclude that the negative long-term effects of mass neurosis are exacerbated by the size of the State.