ISSUES OF FAITH: Personality types cope with COVID

ALTHOUGH WE’D LIKE to think that we’re all on the same page with regards to this latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s hardly the case.

It is clear that compliance with safety management practices varies greatly among people.

This divide is complicating relationships, as well as the resumption of in-person services, meetings and concerts.

In a recent article, entitled “United by the global COVID-19 pandemic: Divided by our values and viral identities,” Professor M.E. Lam identified a number different COVID-19 personality types.

Below, please find 14 of the most common types.

To which do you relate?

Supporters, who “cheer on” others in the fight against the virus.

Invincibles, who believe they are immune to the virus and are not afraid of any social interactions.

Contemplators, who psychologically reflect upon the effects of the virus on daily living and how the world may be changed by the virus.

Rebels, whose chief concern is the suppression of individual freedoms by governments.

Altruists, who help others who are exceptionally vulnerable to the virus.

Deniers, who minimize the threat of the virus and do not comply with public health restrictions.

Worriers, who are obsessed with the virus’ dangers and observe containment measures to temper their fears.

Spreaders, who seek herd immunity by spreading the virus.

Hoarders, who reduce their fears by stocking up on toilet paper and foodstuffs.

Veterans, who comply with containment measures because they have personally experienced the virus, know someone who has or previously experienced other related viruses like SARS or MERS.

Blamers, who are occupied with the countries or people who initially started the spread of the virus.

Innovators, who design better containment measures or better treatments.

Exploiters, who profit financially from the spread of the virus by selling quasi-legitimate treatments.

Front Line Warriors, who actively combat the virus in their daily lives.

These COVID-19 personality types overlap, of course, and may be oversimplified.

So why even consider them?

I bring them to your attention because as our state struggles to fully open up, we need to be aware that we are not of one mind with regards to this pandemic.

Some of us are chomping at the bit to meet indoors and in-person again. Others won’t return until this pandemic is entirely over.

Some of us miss hugs and can’t wait to embrace everyone we know and love. Others never want to be hugged again.

Personally, I identify with the Supporters, Contemplators and Altruists, but have encountered every type of COVID personality within my own circle of friends, family and congregation members.

Strangely, they can’t be divided into “good people” and “bad people.” They are all, by and large, good people.

So how do we handle this? With our eyes wide open.

We cannot assume we are of one mind on this pandemic. We are not.

May all of you remain respectful of one another.

And may all of you stay safe.


Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Kate Lore is a minister at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Port Townsend. Her email is [email protected]

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