An interesting study, conducted in the Netherlands and published in the Psychological Medicine Magazine, examined the potential effects of COVID-19 on people who are virus deniers and prone to conspiracy theories.
The study interviewed 5,754 Dutch nationals and residents and the reported results are:
– people who believe in conspiracy theories are more likely to become infected with the virus due to not adhering to prescribed health and hygiene rules,
– such people tend to feel socially isolated because they feel outside of the generally accepted social norms and beliefs of the majority of the population,
– these people also have a higher tendency to lose their jobs.
The study revealed the impact of denial theories on believers, not just in terms of physical health, but also in terms of mental health, as well as on social relations and interactions.
This behaviour is currently worrying health authorities as, with the approach of winter in the northern hemisphere plus the forthcoming festive season, it is expected that both a sharp rise in cases of seasonal flu and COVID-19 will merge to put health systems of various countries again under tremendous pressure.