How Cultural Differences Have Affected Covid-19 Outcomes | MSNBC 1

How Cultural Differences Have Affected Covid-19 Outcomes | MSNBC


The impact of Covid-19 has been felt across the globe, however different nations have taken different strategies and gotten very different outcomes. New research suggests key cultural differences may have played a big part in how different parts of the world have recovered from the virus. NBC’s Joshua Johnson spoke with Michele Gelfand, a Cultural Psychologist at the University of Maryland, College Park, about her research. Aired on 02/22/2021.
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How Cultural Differences Have Affected Covid-19 Outcomes | MSNBC


  1. Oh for goodness sakes! Those of us here in East Asia – so called tight cultures went through SARS! That’s why we are quite worried about this new virus, we know how bad these things can get. And China is repressive! Look at your own cancel culture! That can be pretty devistating too!

    1. She was sharing the basic points and she did say that previous familiarity, exposure to threats makes one, completely understandably, react differently. So experience with SARS, etc. is of course a major factor.

    2. The words used by the professor were certainly modeled to soothe the egos of the American listeners. I’m pretty sure what she actually meant was the cultural division between collectivism and individualism – Most everyone probably agrees that USA is the cradle of individualism in this era. The professor likely isn’t able to criticize this sort of thing outright, since it’s so near and dear to the American way of life.

    1. @DAYBROK3 ‘neo-liberal’… ‘socialized’ is wrong, just propaganda against ‘public goods’. If you want a market economy to work, public goods are essential, for example, public education, public health, public roads… When you have very little role for the public, you get Texas and its grid failure.

  2. This is absurd and utterly simplistic. What has mattered is the rise of inequity within and between nations. The poorer you are the more likely you are going to be near disease, etc., and it is no accident that the poor in the US live a lot less longer. Within each rich nation it is the poor who are dying… so I suppose all the poor are loose and thus losers?

    1. Often simplicity is the answer. I’m glad she covered this.

      She’s right. America is all about FREEDOM! LIBERTY! No matter the cost to the whole, while the tight cultures focus on societal harmony. America got what it deserved.

  3. Finally somebody is talking about this. American culture is hubris and hubris comes before the fall. And please spare me the “you don’t know what you’re talking about”. America jacked this up royally, loose or not. The negative reactions in the comments to an academic and relevant discussions IS the exact point. Can’t tell Murica nothing.

    1. Okay, now that is something different… hubris is a factor to be sure, but not in terms of the victims of Covid 19. Most of the folks who are victims were scared and had very little choice but to work for low wages or go hungry, as the system was set up… and you can look at politicians debating how make people work at low wages for the past 200 years and more.

  4. We should not during this pandemic into a racial or cultural issue. We have two amazing vaccines that have been authorized and all people have to do is stand in line to get their vaccine. Go to where the battery is being distributed stand in line and you will be treated.

    1. She’s right though, America is getting what it deserves. FREEDOM! LIBERTY! To heck with the greater good, just look out for yourself “personal responsibility”. America is a f*cking joke. And I’m Canadian, we’re loose too, but not THAT loose.

    2. @Kyle Ruggles I don’t know if we were a joke. I think Germany is a laughing stock because they robustly embraced green energy and now we see the Germans having the highest energy rates in Europe and because they cannot produce enough energy they crawled into bed with Putin and his natural gas pipeline.
      The French might be a joke because a recent court decision proved that the French cannot control their own pollution and they cannot meet the mandates of the failed Paris accord. One positive thing that the French can count on is that they are heavily invested in nuclear energy so they can at least provide energy when weather turns cold.
      Parts of America could eventually be a laughingstock if we believe the political science rather than hard, fast provable, replicatable real science. We could be a joke if our politicians continue to be inapt.

    3. @T. R. Campbell America is a joke, all it does is deflect to other countries instead of admitting it’s faults. It’s sad.

    4. @Kyle Ruggles I really don’t care if if the world thinks USA is a joke. I will laugh at them when they come to America with her in hand wanting us to bail them out again. The joke world and beyond them.

    5. @T. R. Campbell That’s what American’s do, show the power they have “If they don’t like it, then we’ll be like Trump”.

      I don’t blame you for thinking this way, you are a product of your environment.

      Good luck.

  5. Caveat: I have not read this material to be fair. This is just my impression. Typically, studies at the individual level of analysis leaves the responsibility on the individuals, so it is methodologically flawed. So, rather than point to problems with politics and economics, it focuses on culture! Good public policy (public health, public transit, publicly accountable police, etc.) might get over looked. Canada, for example, has a health care system that is ‘culturally’ popular. Does that make Canadians more like group thinkers with no innovative skills? What if public health is innovative, and democratic? What if lack of public health is not being innovative, anti-democratic? Or worse, a fall back to dog-eat-dog system to force the poor to work for low wages or starve? If the prof dares to do research on Japan, and thinks the Japanese are not creative… well, you know how silly that sounds.

  6. How is it that Trump leaves office and now I don’t know many Covid deaths there are anymore. I knew everyday when he was in office

  7. Dr Fauci says that even if I get the vaccine I can’t go back to normal life…so…why would I bother getting the vaccine?

    1. vaccines are for providing active acquired immunity, not for going back to “normal” life…

      let me guess, you were educated in the US

    2. @Ross M Please, PLEASE take that “vaccine” im begging you I want to know that youll be sterile in 5-10 years

  8. America has the largest incarceration rates per capita, in the world, it certainly is not loose towards ‘rule’ breakers. Or at least it has a very distorted view of what really matters in the world!

    Now I think about it, yeah, you guys definetly have youre priorities all screwed up!

  9. I don’t know if I’d call NZ a ‘snug’ culture. We’re pretty ‘loose’ but are more focused on ‘fairness’. For instance, isolated communities setup road checkpoints during out first lockdown. They suffered during the 1918 Influenza, so didn’t want a repeat. They worked with the police to make sure nobody went overboard, and it worked fine. Some people tried grumbling, but most agreed that it was the right thing to do

    We also have a bit more trust in our government than the US or UK, and aren’t afraid to call them out when they drop the ball.

    1. You have no power dude. They have tons of firearms and the civilians in your country have next to none. You are only as free as your government allows you to be.

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