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Pandemic of Change Unlike Anything We’ve Seen Before

BY: Nathaniel Saad

Humans are constantly updating and evolving. As deeply thinking beings, we have the capability to evaluate our current situations, with the help of history at any given time, and make decisions accordingly. However, when our daily life is drastically changed, we tend to stray from the paths our status quo had us initially on and make polar decisions. This theory is best known as Post Disaster Acceleration. The theory is quite extensive, but essentially it states that after extraordinary events that cause instability to daily life or the foundation of society’s structure and norms, people tend to reevaluate their life choices and make extreme decisions hastily. This can manifest itself in the form of relationships, living situations, careers, etc.

Some of the more known ones in North America are 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the election of the 45th President of the United States, etc. The event often has an impact that aligns with the nature of the disaster itself. For example, Hurricane Katrina saw a number of people move from at-risk locations to different states. 9/11 saw similar results, but also had a large change regarding relationships. In fact, numerous psychologists tried to predict how people would react after certain disasters, and saw that after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, marriage, birth, and divorce rates were all affected. This theory isn’t even new; its effects date back over three decades, when South Carolina saw a huge increase in the marriage rate, a gigantic u-turn from the decreasing trends they were used to, after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Births and divorces also skyrocketed shortly afterwards. And just to give you a more recent example (on more of a jesting note), the Canadian immigration website crashed on the night of Donald Trump’s election.

So what does this theory of Post Disaster Acceleration mean for us today? It’s no news that the Covid-19 pandemic is unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. It has affected us in ways we never thought would be possible, spanning not only into our businesses and schools, but our very homes and neighbourhoods. While it would be impossible to predict accurately the specific effects this unusual disaster will have on society in the long-run, informed speculation is still something to consider.

Beyond the swing in divorce rates, people moving houses, or career changes, there is an angle that hasn't yet been considered. The political implications of this theory have the potential to be astronomical, especially when considering the nature of the current disaster we’re all living in. Covid-19 is not challenging just our housing, employment, relationships or government; it’s affecting practically every one of these aspects, and for almost everyone. Never before have we been experiencing isolation and public fear at this level. Mixed in with the BLM movement and protests, this combination of events could be a catalyst for an extreme reaction unlike anything we’ve ever seen. With 2020 a little over halfway done and a major election coming up for the USA, who knows what the future holds?

*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.


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