The ‘Silver Lining’ of COVID-19: More Generous Americans

April 12, 2022 – At the onset of the COVID -19 illness, Ivy Dash, a freelance photographer based in Closter, NJ, found the Closter Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Corps was exhausted and struggling with a lot of those afflicted with disease.

He wanted to do something to help.

Dash invited people to sign up for porch photos – where a photographer can take photos of a family outside, from a distance – and asked his customers to donate to the company.

It was a big win, Dash said. “Sickness is a free time because everyone is locked up at home; every family is locked up, including normal kids in college.”

His work has grown. He was invited by a local treasurer to pick up some of his customers, with money donated to his favorite charity. Before long, Dash was creating porch paintings in a variety of locations, including materials from charity.

Dash may have seen porch photography as a way to build his own business during times of financial crisis, but he chose to use it as an opportunity to help others – and, according to a new report, many other Americans did the same during the chronic illness.

The researchers investigated the relationship between the arrival of COVID-19 and generosity in the first months of illness and found that people were more generous with their money when the disease threatened. in their county, said the research’s lead researcher, Ariel Fridman, a PhD candidate at. University of California, San Diego.

“Amidst the uncertainty, fear, and tragedy of the disease, we see a piece of money: those who have more money than others have become more vulnerable to a COVID-19 threat. , “he said.

‘Ctastrophe Compassion’

Preliminary research has provided “different predictions” about how people respond to major crises, such as natural disasters and wars, Fridman said.

On the other hand, people are more likely to abandon activities that consider the interests of others, because fear and uncertainty from the idea that they are in a higher position lead to those who work outside of proper maintenance.

Based on these findings, some may think that those who are threatened by COVID-19 are more sensitive than those who are not threatened. In fact, there are many reports in 2020 of people wearing things like toilet paper and masks.

On the other hand, other research has shown that when groups face a more common threat, there is greater social stigma, altruism, and social diversity – a form of bonding and helping each other is sometimes called “catastrophe compassion.”

And some research has shown that communities experiencing disasters can have both positive and negative responses at the same time.

The more intimidating, the higher the offer

Fridman and colleagues studied the relationship between the COVID-19 problem and kindness by looking at two data sets.

The first was taken from Charity Navigator, the world’s largest independent organization that keeps records of donations, including the amount donated and the county where the donor lived. The researchers looked at the distribution patterns of 696,924 people living in the U.S. from July 2016 to December 2020.

The greater the threat from COVID-19 (due to the high number of deaths experienced in a given county), the greater the number of generous citizens of that county. In counties with a high COVID-19 threat, the amount of funding given in March 2020, compared to March 2019, increased by 78%. Counties with a low COVID-19 threat increased their supply at the same time, but at a lower rate (55%).

The researchers found a similar pattern in April 2020, compared to April 2019: On average, county -level delivery increased in areas with high threat by 39%; by 29% in counties with a central threat; and at 32% in counties with low threat, compared with no threat.

Donors provide more humanitarian services such as food storage and homeless services than any other medium.

Come here

The researchers also looked at a second table that looked at kindness in a more authoritative setting. There are 1,003 people in the U.S. who have played a game in which a player (the “dictator”) earns $ 10 and has to decide how to divide the money between them and another, unknown, player. not selected. They played this game every month, six times, from March to August 2020.

Instead of increasing their own wages and not giving the money to others, the “dictators” increased their contributions (about an average of $ 2.92) by 9% at a time. below low threat, 13% below medium threat, and 8% below high threat. compared to non -threatening.

Although COVID-19’s move was associated with more generosity, the level of intimidation was not known to be the level of giving a “game dictator.”

“People come together in the face of a common threat and show a willingness to support others,” the researchers wrote, “while there is no doubt about their health and well -being. make up.”

‘The more you give, the more you earn’

“It remains to be seen if kindness is more important than illness,” said David Maurrasse, PhD, founder and president of Marga Inc., a consulting firm that provides advice and counseling. with research on charity and community groups.

Maurrasse, who is also an adjunct research fellow at Columbia University’s Climate School in New York City, found that climate change has long -term effects, especially among groups of undiagnosed people.

“Therefore, increasing philanthropy will shift from comfort to rationality, even though the disease has affected many aspects of life, from health to education to local professionals, and beyond, ”he said.

Dash’s porch painting, which began with a charity, ended up not doing his job. “The more you give, the more you earn,” he said.

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