Is COVID-19 narrative driven by science or just pure psychology?

In life we have those who question whatever they are told, and those who believe what is either said by an authority figure, or accepted by the majority.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

In psychology, it is referred to as “conformity”, which is usually instilled in us through social learning.

That is proven in a popular psychology experiment in which an individual – who is regarded in very high esteem in his field – stands in front of a group of people articulately presenting a paper.

However, halfway through this presentation, he switches, and deliberately starts speaks a whole lot of gibberish – yet shockingly, at the end of this nonsensical presentation, not only does he receive overwhelming thunderous applause, but also a thumbs-up standing ovation!

What was the experiment supposed to show?

This is what is widely known as the “halo effect” – which is the cognitive bias in which judgment of somebody’s character is influenced by an overall impression of him or her.

In fact, the same principle is commonly employed in marketing and advertising – which can be described as a situation where the consumer’s attitudes or beliefs are influenced by association, for example by a related product or service.

For instance, a customer may be influenced to purchase a particular product merely because it appears to be popular and in high demand, or is used by their favorite celebrity.

Did you know that, some supermarkets actually deliberately displayed certain products in few batches, simply to portray an image that they were flying off the shelves – since this would subconsciously appear to a customer as a very good product, which was in high demand,, thereby, subliminally enticing him to buy?

Therefore, the mere fact that the presenter in the earlier experiment was regarded as highly knowledgeable in his field – whatever he said was accepted as absolute truth, and of exceptional standard…despite the fact that, half of it was plain rubbish!

Thus, even if there could have been those who began to question what the presenter was saying, and detecting that this was not making any sense at all – due to their desire for conformity, and a fear of appearing different, after witnessing the overwhelming endorsement of the presenter by the crowd, they may actually have started questioning and doubting their own views, thereby willingly joining the rest.

This has all to do with the human desire for “conformity”, and to fit in the popular conception and belief system – primarily influenced by a fear of apprearing different, and possibly being regarded an outcast.

Yesterday, I can across a media report stating that lockdowns imposed globally as restrictive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to a John’s Hopkins University meta-analysis of several studies, only reduced mortality by a measly 0.2 per cent in the US and Europe.

The study by the world-renowned and reputable institution concluded that “lockdowns had little to no public effects…in consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument”.

Of course, this revelation did not come as a surprise to me – for I have always been one of a handful of individuals who have strongly questioned such policies, as lockdowns and mandatory vaccinations, as effective ways of curbing this pandemic.

Nonetheless, as a lonely voice in the wilderness – very few people took note, rather viewing people as myself as outcasts, or even public health threats.

In fact, the hysteria surrounding these supposed COVID-19 preventative measures was so alarming and vitriolic such that, I once commented to a dear friend that, at this rate, time will surely come when those blindly believing these restrictions, would go out carrying torches and pitchforks, possibly door-to-door, lynching all those who had not been vaccinated.

Such people gave me the chills, and terrifyingly reminded me of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan).

But, what was really going on in these people’s minds – who appeared as if brainwashed, and swallowing everything they were being fed by supposed scientists?

As far as I am concerned, this was a classic case of the “halo effect” at play – whereby, these people (incredibly, including governments and fellow scientists) believed, without question, whatever they were being told by those they held in very high regard as experts.

They did not bother carefully and meticulously scrutinizing the authenticity, sense, and logic of what was being presented as scientific fact.

Furthermore, when the global media began feeding into the narrative – more and more people were driven by their psychological need to conform, thereby influencing their beliefs in mandatory vaccines and lockdowns as effective means of curbing COVID-19.

Last evening, I had a very interesting discussion with the first black minister of education in post-independence Zimbabwe, Dzingai Mutumbuka – a well-respected, highly-learned, and trailblazer in his own right – who always encourages me to keep writing, even when my views may be considered by many as unconventional.

He reminded me of Galileo, who was excommunicated by the Pope of Rome when he asserted that the Earth was round – contrary to the widely-held view of the time, that our planet was actually a flat disk, with all the other planets (including the sun) revolving around us.

I felt so encouraged to continue speaking out for what I believed – even if that went against the convictions of millions, if not billions – as I have never been motivated by a sense of “conformity” and a desire to follow the crowd, but instead to sober-mindedly and objectively analyze issues without undue influence or considerations.

I will not repeat views I have already expressed numerous times before in previous writings – but, for me, the entire COVID-19 narrative has always been predominantly premised on mind games, rather than pure science.

…and there has to be some people laughing all the way to the bank!

Believe me, the truth has not even started coming out yet!

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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