I posit the theory of Outbreak Myopia. Outbreak Myopia© is a a belief that a contagion or outbreak is contained to certain areas, people or places based on the initial detection. Further, those with Outbreak Myopia believe that the cases are not related to them by their biases (economic, educational, racial and social).
There is an economic component to outbreak myopia. It suggests that those with means feel fairly competent and confident that their economics or education preclude them from contact with the virus, contagion or outbreak. This bias is made real as they and their surrounding relations have not yet been affected.
Those of lesser means believe that the outbreak is less likely to impact them because of historical resilience or previous harms that have been overcome. Further, they believe that the embedded bias that is already against them due to prejudice will either greatly impact them or not. Their bias can also suggest that the outbreak was intended, suggesting it is not necessary to aggressively act or respond to the threat.
Both groups are experiencing outbreak myopia believing the threat(s) are not as fatal to them therefore decreasing the likelihood of a response to the outbreak. Further, they may not place merit or value on the powers at be (government, medical or leadership) for a fast cure or even a slowing of the outbreak.
The outbreak is viewed based on personal and limited lens creating the myopia. To make a change in the myopic people there has to be persuasion that is credible while those leading provide data that is truthful, impactful and demonstrating a real threat.
Learn more about the Outbreak Myopia by Dr. Tyra Oldham.