Ilongo Fritz Ngale*
Received: March 20, 2021 Published: March 30, 2021
Corresponding author: Ilongo Fritz Ngale, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Education, Department of Adult Education, University of Eswatini, Eswatini
The Bible records a couple of verses that has pi =3.0 instead of 3.1415926. Its not that they did not know the precise value of Pi; they we are recording that they knew about AT Math clandestinely. It is the Key of David. The Israelites knew of Ancient Egyptian and Babylonian Math. In fact, the Wise Men from the East who came to visit the Messiah we likely from Babylon and knew AT Math. The Egyptian certainly knew about the Golden Mean. These two verses from Kings and Chronicles indicate a code that Solomon and his father David knew.
Keywords: Solomon; Pi ; Bible; AT Math
“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person”– Oscar Wilde
The COVID - 19 pandemic brutally ushered in itself with the following indelible symptoms; immediate lockdown of persons and facilities, discontinuity of supply of essential services at all levels, exacerbation of demand of the latter, and creation and sustenance of extreme dependence. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an undeniable health crisis which has disrupted educational systems, exacerbated isolation and stress, and intensified the sense of isolation, loneliness, and vulnerability [1-3]. The worldwide medical crisis from COVID – 19  has generated triple psychosocial effects which are; negative socialization, dehumanization, and de-individuation.
Statement of the Problem
This paper posits that management of the COVID – 19 pandemic has voluntarily or involuntarily led to triple psychosocial impacts which are; negative socialization, dehumanization, and de-individuation.
a) Firstly, to analyze the extent to which negative socialization
in the management of the COVID – 19 has led to; stasis, tunnel
vision, cognitive distortions, and harsh superego.
b) Secondly, to analyze the psychosocial impacts of dehumanization in the management of the COVID – 19 pandemic through; a tabula rasa myth, the suppression of human rights, and reverse negative utilitarianism.
c) Thirdly, to analyze de-individuation during COVID–19 through; infobesity, preconventional, and conventional morality.
d) To suggest a more humane management of the COVID–19 pandemic through; an anti-behaviorist ethos, positive socialization, a re-humanizing perspective, individuation, and holistic medicine.
The literature of the study was focused around the following
schools of thought; social psychology, cognitive psychology,
psychodynamic theory, and behaviorism.
Social psychology is the scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, and implied presence of others. Social psychologists typically explain human behaviour as being a result of the relationship between mental state and social situation, in this case, the CORONA virus pandemic, studying the conditions under which thoughts, feelings, and behaviours occur and how these variables influence social interactions.Social psychology attempts to bridge the gap between psychology and sociology [4, 5].
Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of mental processes such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and thinking. It is a school of psychology which counters behaviorism, which emphasizes that unobservable mental processes were outside of the realm of empirical science . Cognitive psychology in relation with the present paper will provide insight into the mental and emotional impacts on people of the ongoing CORONA virus pandemic.
Psychodynamic theory is an approach to psychology that emphasizes systematic study of the psychological forces that underlie human behaviour, feelings, and emotions and how they might relate to early experience. It is especially interested in the dynamic relations between conscious motivation and unconscious motivation . Psychodynamic theory provides understanding concerning some of the defence mechanisms that people use to cope with the pressures and stress associated with the COVID – 19 pandemic.
Behaviorism is a systematic approach to understanding the behaviour of humans and other animals. It assumes that behaviour is either a reflex evoked by the pairing of certain antecedent stimuli in the environment, or a consequence of that individual’s history, including especially reinforcement and punishment contingencies, together with the individual’s current motivational state and controlling stimuli. Although behaviourists generally accept the important role of heredity in determining behaviour, they focus primarily on environmental events. Behaviourism provides a vital aspect discussions in this paper in relation to potential manipulation of peoples’ behaviours during the management of the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic by decision makers.
The methodology used in this paper is basic research, while the
theoretical framework is critical theoretical analyses.
Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, aims to improve understanding or prediction of natural or other phenomena (National Science Foundation, 2014). Basic research in this paper is conceptual, descriptive, exploratory, and proposes solutions for humane management of the COVID–19 pandemic in the world in general, and in Africa in particular.The goal in using conceptual analysis as a method of inquiry into the present field of interest, that is, humane management of the COVID–19 pandemic, is to improve understanding of the negative approaches in which the latter is being managed, and to suggest mechanisms for a more humane management of the present global pandemic.
The theoretical framework for this paper is based on a critique of management of pandemics in general, and that of the present COVID–19 in particular. Critical Theory offers the paradigmatic structure for anassessment of, and in depth critique of COVID–19 management processes with the related psychosocial impacts.
Critical Theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it. Critical theory basically seeks to free humankind from imprisoning circumstances . Critical theory involves a normative sociocultural dimension, either through criticizing society from some general theory of values, norms, or “oughts”, or through criticizing it in terms of its own espoused values.
The core concepts of Critical Theory are as Follows
a) That critical social theory should be directed at the totality of society in its historical specificity (i.e. how it came to be configured at a specific point in time), and
b) That Critical theory should improve understanding of society by integrating all the major social sciences, including geography, economics, sociology, history, political science, anthropology, and psychology .
Traditionally, socialization is the sociocultural medium for perpetuating lifelong learning. In addition, socialization has a central influence on the behaviour, beliefs, and actions of adults and children .This work on the contrary presumes that COVID–19 has led to negative socialization. Negative socialization occurs when others, especially those in decision making positions, use punishment, and barely veiled threats, to teach others right behaviors especially during the present pandemic. Generally, people come to dislike both negative socialization and the people who impose it on them, especially as the former leads to pessimistic feelings about life . This paper posits that negative socialization is characterized by; stasis, tunnel vision, cognitive distortions, and a harsh superego.
The evolution of COVID –19 as a universal and localized phenomenon is initially characterised by stasis (Wilson, 2020). Cambridge dictionary defines ‘stasis’ as a state that does not change, or not able to be changed. During COVID–19, the lockdown measures have practically stopped most physical and socioeconomic processes, and confined people to prescribed spaces and times, to the extent that there is a sense of motionlessness, at the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions.
Tunnel vision is the loss of peripheral vision with retention of
central vision, resulting in a constricted circular tunnel-like field of
Tunnel vision or loss of peripheral vision during COVID–19 is characterized by mental fixation, mediated and sustained by cognitive distortions. Fixation in the context of this work refers to an inability to adopt any different or new perspective on the COVID–19 issues, despite evidence to the contrary.
A cognitive distortion is an exaggerated or irrational thought pattern which causes individuals to perceive reality inaccurately, to generate a negative outlook on reality through negative schemas, and to reinforce negative emotions and thoughts [15,16].
a. Arbitrary Inferences: The tendency to make hard and fast
conclusions concerning COVID–19 issues based on a single and
subjectively interpreted event.
b. Selective Abstraction: Perceiving and emphasizing only on the negatives of COVID–19 and totally ignoring its positive aspects.
c. Overgeneralization: The tendency to draw negative conclusions about COVID–19 based on minimal data.
d. Magnification and Minimization: A psychological attitude which magnifies only negative occurrences related to COVID – 19, while minimizing positive occurrences related to the same pandemic.
e. Personalization: The tendency to feel that all COVID – 19 related issues have a personal bearing.
f. Dichotomous Thinking/All-or-None Thinking: The tendency to illogically think that everything is either good or bad during the COVID – 19 pandemic.
g. Control Fallacies: The tendency to either think you have no control over the pandemic through a sense of impotence, or to believe one is invulnerable to the pandemic, that is, a false sense of omnipotence.
h. Emotional Reasoning: The attitude of taking as facts, one’s personal emotions related to COVID - 19 issues.
At the heart of psychological processes, according to Freud, is the ego, which he envisions as battling with three forces: the id, the super-ego, and the outside world . The id is the unconscious reservoir of libido, the psychic energy that fuels instincts and psychic processes. The ego serves as the general manager of personality, making decisions regarding the pleasures that will be pursued at the id’s demand, the person’s safety requirements, and the moral dictates of the superego that will be followed.According to psychodynamic theory, the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role exemplified in how people view themselves as guilty and bad, shameful and weak, and feel compelled to do certain things. The super-ego aims for perfection, and includes the individual’s ego ideals and conscience, with the latter criticizing and prohibiting people’s drives, fantasies, feelings, and actions with feelings of guilt. For example, feeling guilty when one goes against the self-care coping strategies of COVID – 19.
a. A relentlessly application of ‘uncompromising total lockdown
measures’ with attendant ‘confinement in space and
motionlessness in time’.
b. People ‘feel stuck’ and find it difficult to think creatively about how to manage the challenges posed by COVID – 19.
c. Proscribed behaviour must be followed to the letter without any leeway for independent thought and action.
d. Through unilaterally proscribed behaviour during COVID–19, people may feel isolated, experience depression, self-harm, or fantasize about hurting themselves or others.
e. To cope with a harsh superego, some individuals may be more likely to turn toward drugs, alcohol, or other substances or use violent outbursts or sex to escape the persecutory superego voice within and without.
f. A harsh superego implies the ‘precedence of law over reason and pleasure’.
This paper presupposes that dehumanization during COVID–19 is a function of; a tabula rasa myth, the suppression of human rights, and reverse negative utilitarianism, through which humans are treated like objects, and can thus be controlled, manipulated, tested, and prescribed anything to.
Psychological behaviorism purports to explain human and animal behavior in terms of external physical stimuli, responses, learning histories, and reinforcements, in which case learning becomes regimented instruction, or the ‘putting in’ of information into the passive minds of the ignorant masses, especially during the present pandemic . Behavioris the computed response of the system or organism to various stimuli or inputs, whether internal or external, conscious or subconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary . In human beings, virtually all complex behaviour is presumed to be acquired or programmed.
a. Soullessness: It is the tendency during management of the
COVID – 19 pandemic to reduce human beings to animal status
on which basis they are perceived and treated as creatures that
are submissive, controllable, and can be manipulated.
b. Thoughtlessness: It is the presumption that human beings generally lack Higher Order Thinking Skills, in which case prefabricated solutions are justified during the management of the COVID – 19 pandemic.
c. Mindlessness: Since human beings are considered as soulless and thoughtless creatures, prescribed and proscribed behaviours are enforced by more knowledgeable others.
Human rights violations during COVID–19 will be highlighted through; censorship, right to health, discrimination and xenophobia, suppression of information, harassment and intimidation, disproportionate border control and quarantine, right to privacy, and stigmatization.
Reverse negative Utilitarianism During COVID - 19
Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories that promotes actions that maximize happiness and well-being for affected individuals . Negative utilitarianism on the contrary, is a form of negative consequentialism that can be described as the view that we should minimize the total amount of aggregate suffering, or that we should minimize suffering and then, secondarily, maximize the total amount of happiness. During COVID – 19, this researcher posits that there is especially in Africa, the ‘maximization of suffering and minimization of happiness’, a situation coined ‘reverse negative utilitarianism’. This is confirmed by Pope John Paul II, who argued that a danger of utilitarianism is that it tends to make persons, just as much as things, the object of use. "Utilitarianism," he wrote, "is a civilization of production and of use, a civilization of things and not of persons, a civilization in which persons are used in the same way as things are used .
De-Individuation During COVID – 19
According to Jungian psychology, individuation (German: Individuation) is a process of psychological integration. Individuation implies differential development of unique and integrated individuals who are separated from generalpsychology . Individuation has a holistic healing effect on the person, both mentally and physically . De-individuation is occurring during the present pandemic because of; infobesity and reinforcing aspects of preconventional and conventional morality.
Infobesity During COVID – 19
Too Much Information effect has led to the danger of information overload, - a phenomenon studied for over twenty years by Bawden&Robinson (2020) of City University of London's Department of Library and Information Science. The aforementioned professors reiterate that through information overload, people seek simple, and often unhelpful ways of choosing which information to focus on; even to the extent of just avoiding information completely.For this researcher, information overload during COVID – 19 leads to perspectiside or disorientation. Perspectisideis the inability to recall what you know, as a psychological effect of isolation [9,34,35]. Victims of perspectiside are made to self-doubt, second guess, and learn not to trust their inner voice.For the author, the unilateral directives, reverse negative utilitarianism of COVID – 19, that is, maximizing suffering and minimizing happiness, lead people to remain silent and isolated, thereby justifying a sense of by standing impotence in relation to the glaring maximal suffering of the lowest socioeconomic classes.
Conventional Morality Stage 4 – Authority and Social Order Obedience Driven
According to Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of moral development (1973), stage four of conventional morality entails obeying laws, dictums, and social conventions (think of the self-care coping strategies prescribed during COVID – 19), because of their importance in maintaining a functioning society. A central ideal (social distancing in the case of this paper) or ideals often prescribe what is right and wrong. Morality at stage four of this theory is predominantly dictated by an outside force . There is near omnipresence of security forces in most countries during COVID – 19 for strict implementation of social distancing measures.
Pre-Conventional Morality Stage 1 – Fear of Punishment
The authority and social order driven morality during COVID – 19 exacerbates fear of punishment, that is, stage one of pre-conventional morality in Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. The latter is obedience and punishment driven, in that individuals focus on the direct consequences of their actions on themselves. For example, during COVID – 19, violation of social distancing prescriptions is perceived as morally wrong because perpetrators have been shown to be corporeally punished in many instances. Furthermore, the more brutal the punishment of violation of social distancing prescriptions during COVID – 19, the more "bad" the act is perceived to be[37,38].
Conventional Morality Stage 3 – Good Boy/Girl Compliments for ‘Good Behaviours’ During Covid - 19
Social order obedience and fear of punishment are balanced during COVID – 19 by ‘good boy/girl’ compliments from social authorities.In stage three of conventional morality good intentions are determined by social consensus , whereby by conforming to social standards of ‘social distancing’, individuals are receptive to approval, in this case as it reflects prescribed social distancing strategies during COVID - 19. People try to be either a "good boy" or "good girl" by living up to COVID – 19 social distancing expectations, the reasoning being that "I/we want to be liked and thought well of; apparently, not being naughty makes people like me/us" . Some heads of state during state of the nation addresses during COVID – 19, say things like, we recognize the sacrifices made you people during these trying times, do not relent, we count on you, do not give up, congratulations, etc.
The present paper proposes that positive management of epidemics should include the following elements; an anti-behaviorist ethos, positive socialization, re-humanization, re-individuation, and a holistic health model.
The Anti-Behaviourist Ethos Results from the Following Considerations
Human beings authentically function as wholes in an interpersonal and physical environment, in which case the narrow, mechanical, and lifeless view of the former by a behaviourist perspective adopted during COVID – 19, should be reviewed, in preference for a holistic approach. In other words, human beings should not be reduced to ‘lifeless, mechanical statistics’. The stance of psychologist Hudson (1973) aptly supports the point being made that: the behaviourist ethos disregards personal feelings or personal experiences and maximizes mechanical and electronic metaphor.
Humankind cannot be reduced to the statistical information explosion which characterizes COVID – 19 reports. In support of this assertion, Le Shan (1990) posits that human thought and feelings cannot be reduced to numbers, which is exactly the approach taken during COVID – 19, which systematically minimizes the psychosocial effects of the pandemic, in favour of a medical health model.
The behaviourist approach to managing COVID – 19 presupposes that humankind has been reduced to laboratory subjects which can be conditioned and manipulated to respond to stimuli (self-care coping strategies, maintaining social order at all costs through negative reinforcement, etc.) in similar ways. The implications from the preceding statement is that during COVID – 19 human beings are treated like machines.
All the previously stated four points which are anti-behaviourism, could be summed up by saying that during COVID – 19, humans are generally being treated in an anti-democratic fashion, firstly because behaviorism is aversive to free will by claiming that a person's history of environmental interactions controls his or her behavior. Skinner confirms the preceding by asserting that people cannot creatively make their own environments .
Positive socialization is the type of social learning that is based on pleasurable and exciting experiences. In the case of COVID – 19, positive socialization will entail the re-emergence of ‘pleasure’ or happiness which has been radically suppressed through negative socialization. Happiness involves both an anti-behaviourist ethos and self-determination. The latter are sustained through positive motivation, empathy, and rewarding opportunities, as counterweights to the sacrifices undergone during COVID – 19 or any other pandemic .
Re-humanization during COVID – 19 and beyond entails a combination of personalism and ethics of care.
Personalism is an intellectual stance that emphasizes the importance of human persons . Personalism affirms the centrality of the person for philosophical thought which has a homocentric ethos. Personalism posits ultimate reality and value in personhood-human as well as divine, and emphasizes the significance, uniqueness and inviolability of the person, as well as the person's essentially relational or communitarian dimension . From the preceding, personalism is anti-behaviourist, and would imply fundamentally that human beings be treated during COVID – 19 and other pandemics, with respect, empathy, compassion, by upholding their inviolable rights which make them unique and dignified. For personalism to be operative during this pandemic and beyond, this paper posits the necessity of the former being accompanied by ‘ethics of care.’
The ethics of care (alternatively care ethics or EoC) is a normative ethical theory that holds that moral action centers on interpersonal relationships and care or benevolence as a virtue. EoC is one of a cluster of normative ethical theories that were developed by feminists in the second half of the twentieth century.
While consequentialist and deontological ethical theories emphasize generalizable standards and impartiality, ethics of care emphasize the importance of response to the individual. The distinction between the general and the individual is reflected in their different moral questions: "what is just?" versus "how to respond?" . Carol Gilligan, who is considered the originator of the ethics of care, criticized the application of generalized standards as "morally problematic, since it breeds moral blindness or indifference" .
Some Assumptions of the Theory of Ethics of Care are
Elements of Care Ethics that Could be Implemented During COVID – 19 and Beyond Include
Ethics of care Implies the Following Questions in Relation to COVID – 19 and Other Pandemics
Re-individuation as a way forward will entail for this paper; development of some of the virtues of personality psychology and a holistic health model.
Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and its variation among individuals. It is a scientific study which aims to show how people are individually different due to psychological forces (Friedman &Schustack, 2016). Its areas of focus include:
For the Purposes of this Paper, Personality Psychology will be Considered in Relation to Covid – 19 and Beyond, Through the Following Lenses
Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health. The holistic approach to medicine and health care emphasizes the integrity of each person's physical, mental, and spiritual being, the psychosocial context of health and illness, the importance of health promotion, a respectful partnership between physician and patient, and the actual or potential utility of techniques derived from a variety of healing traditions. It represents a recent attempt to enlarge and humanize the perspective and practice of modern biomedicine. It is presumed that positive socialization, re-humanization, and re-individuation will enable people to ‘rediscover their voices,’ that is, personal and collective empowering transformation, through self-recollection beyond behaviourist conditioning and programming based on the statistical law of averages.
In Other Words, the Management of COVID – 19 and Other Pandemics Will Lead to Positive Psychosocial Outcomes Through the Following Equally Positive Attitudes
Open and Transparent Decision-Making:Good decisions will be those that will be as inclusive, transparent and reasonable as possible, that is, they will be rational, evidence-based, and the result of a reasonable process which is practical based on context and circumstances.
This paper posits that invaluableness of life has been violated from triple perspectives during COVID – 19 through; negative socialization, dehumanization, and de-individuation. The latter have led to the following psychosocial impacts; stasis, tunnel vision, cognitive distortions, and harsh superego. The suggested way forward for the effective management of the COVID – 19 pandemic has triple axes which include; transcending the behaviorist ethos, positive socialization, a re-humanizing perspective, individuation, and holistic medicine.
Bio chemistryUniversity of Texas Medical Branch, USA
Department of Criminal JusticeLiberty University, USA
Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Kentucky, USA
Department of MedicineGally International Biomedical Research & Consulting LLC, USA
Department of Urbanisation and AgriculturalMontreal university, USA
Oral & Maxillofacial PathologyNew York University, USA
Gastroenterology and HepatologyUniversity of Alabama, UK
Department of MedicineUniversities of Bradford, UK
OncologyCirculogene Theranostics, England
Radiation ChemistryNational University of Mexico, USA
Analytical ChemistryWentworth Institute of Technology, USA
Minimally Invasive SurgeryMercer University school of Medicine, USA
Pediatric DentistryUniversity of Athens , Greece
The annual scholar awards from Lupine Publishers honor a selected number Read More...
We know the financial complexity of Individual read more...
The annual scholar awards from Lupine Publishers honor a selected number read more...