COVID-19 The Politics of a Pandemic Moral Panic


Written by: Barry Cooper and Marco Navarro-Génie


COVID-19 The Politics of a Pandemic Moral Panic explores the political and social responses that have been tributary to the medical responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. What is a moral panic? The focus of any analysis of moral panic is whether an issue is distorted and exaggerated in such a way as to produce an obvious over-reaction on the part of social and political authorities. Such a process occurs in stages: (1) an event or perhaps a person is defined as a threat, perhaps only a vague threat, to existing values, traditions, or interests; (2) the event is simplified; and presented in the mass (and now social) media in a stereotypical way; (3) moral barricades are manned by editors, politicians, experts, and other right-thinking people and socially authorized knowers; (4) ways of coping with the disturbance are developed, and eventually; (5) the public profile of the disturbance, event, individual, etc., declines and is forgotten or is retained as a memory and as a diffuse or potential threat. The chief emotion associated with a moral panic is fear. John Lee, M.D., retired professor of pathology and a National Health Service consultant pathologist, summarized the point about the history of the virus over the past couple of decades: “The spread of viruses like COVID-19 is not new. What is new is our response.”

“… It is with great appreciation, the authors thank all who contributed time and energy into the final manuscript: Gerard Lucyshyn, Deanne Brosnan, and Naomi Lakritz.” – Marco Navarro-Génie



140pp  ISBN: 09780987895462 (softcover)
Publisher: Gerard Lucyshyn
Published by: Frontier Centre for Public Policy  November 2020

Additional information

Weight 0.245 kg
Dimensions 23 × 15.25 × 1 cm
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