Researcher states 16 Covid-19 personality types amid pandemic

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 30, 2021

New research has been conducted by Mimi E. Lam, a researcher at the University of Bergen, that explores the impacts of salient viral or Covid-19 behavioural identities that are emerging.

The study, published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, identifies 16 personality types of people according to their response to the pandemic situation.

“These emergent Covid-19 behavioural identities are being hijacked by existing social and political identities to politicise the pandemic and heighten racism, discrimination, and conflict,” said Lam.

She added, “The Covid-19 pandemic reminds us that we are not immune to each other. To unite in our fight against the pandemic, it is important to recognise the basic dignity of all and value the human diversity currently dividing us.”

“Only then can we foster societal resilience and an ethical Covid-19 agenda. This would pave the way for other global commons challenges whose impacts are less immediate, but no less dire for humanity,” she further said.

Lam also argued that liberal democracies need an ethical policy agenda with three priorities: to recognize the diversity of individuals; to deliberate and negotiate value trade-offs; and to promote public buy-in, trust, and compliance.

Some emergent “Covid-19 personality types” that she noted in her study include:


People who downplay the viral threat, promoting business as usual.


People who want the coronavirus to spread, herd immunity to develop, and normality to return.


People who try to harm others by, for example, spitting or coughing at them.


People who recognise the reality of potential harm and adjust their behaviours.


People who stay informed and safe to manage their uncertainty and fear.


People who isolate and cut off from the world to ponder on life.


People who panic-buy and hoard products to quell their insecurity.


Often youth, who believe themselves to be immune.


People who think that social distancing protocols and lockdown measures restrict their individual freedoms and hence, do not like to comply.


People who vent their fears and frustrations onto others.


People who exploit the situation for power, profit or brutality.


People who design or repurpose resources to fight the pandemic.


People who show their solidarity in support of others.


People who help the vulnerable, elderly, and isolated.


This includes people who are front-line health-care workers and are combating this grim reality.


People who experienced SARS or MERS and willingly comply with restrictions.

Published on January 30, 2021

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