In 1940 and 1941, Britain was subjected to an extreme bombing campaign by Nazi Germany, who were trying to demoralise the UK’s spirit in the midst of the Second World War. During the period of heavy bombing, Britain was forced into lockdown, the residents being forced to stay indoors – something which the UK comes face to face with again thanks to coronavirus.
Before the blitz, Winston Churchill consulted psychologists, fearing that the isolation would be enough to drive people insane.
The lockdown then did not demoralise the nation, and neither will the isolation measures put in place today in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, leading psychologists have claimed.
Terrie Moffitt, professor of psychology at Duke University, even believes the current lockdown could be good for society.
Prof Moffit argued the isolation brings us together in many ways, stating it gives us something in common with one another.
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He said: “Some psychologists are comparing the attack of the coronavirus to the bombing attacks on London in World War II.
“The blitz and the COVID-19 are both scary and isolating.
“People have to stay home while being reminded constantly of uncontrollable death.
“And it’s dragging along for weeks and weeks. But the other thing that the London Blitz and the COVID-19 have in common is fostering a sense of solidarity. Everyone is in this together.
“There’s quite a bit of historical evidence that this kind of ordeal can be good for society.
“It can slow down our lives and give us a sense of shared purpose. It can provide an opportunity to practice helping others.
“All these things are good for our mental health.
“In 1939 in Britain, ahead of the Blitz, Winston Churchill consulted psychologists and was told the air raids and bombings by Germany were going to cause such terror that millions would go insane.
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“The psychiatric hospitals would be overwhelmed with patients. That turned not to be true then, and it’s not true now.”
Timothy Strauman, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, added it would be abnormal if, as a collective, we were not unsettled by the current situation.
He said: “If you’re not feeling unsettled and worried and projecting into the future, then you’re not paying attention.
“This is a momentous change in our lives that none of us anticipated.
“It has taken us by surprise. If you’re not feeling distressed, to me, I’d be wondering if you’re just not admitting that to yourself.”
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