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Covid-19: Balancing risk and staying human

How will managing our fears shape what we understand to be normal, and to be human?

Many governments are beginning to ease restrictions placed on us aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus. Until a vaccine is widely available, the fear of contracting Covid-19 and becoming seriously ill as a result, will remain a very real one. And as more schools, shops and workplaces begin to re-open, we’re all increasingly going to have to make decisions about the amount of risk we’re willing to take. Our fear of threats and the unknown is part of being human. But so too is our desire to hug our loved ones and meet new people. And yet these once ordinary social activities are now tainted by risk. Will we decide to abandon them? Many parents fear sending their children back to school, but may also worry whether staying at home will harm their education. How should they weigh up the risks? Staying at home for months on end may reduce the risk of becoming infected with the virus, but what are the risks to mental health from taking that more cautious approach? As the lockdowns end, how will managing risk and overcoming fear affect how we live? How will it affect what we understand to be rational, to be normal, and to be human?

Available now

53 minutes

Last on

Sat 23 May 2020 03:06GMT

Contributors

Frank Furedi - Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent and author of the book: 'How Fear Works'

Lenore Manderson - Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Andrew Penn - Associate Clinical Professor and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at the University of California, San Francisco 

Also featuring ...

Dr Gabor Mate - author and expert on addiction, stress and childhood development

Tom Chivers - science writer

Photo

A child draws in a classroom at Champ l"Eveque public school in Bruz after France eased lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic by Damien Meyer /AFP via Getty Images

Broadcasts

  • Fri 22 May 2020 09:06GMT
  • Fri 22 May 2020 23:06GMT
  • Sat 23 May 2020 03:06GMT

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