Moral Panics- Class Activity

What is a moral panic?

A moral panic is a fear, often irrational, that someone or something is a threat to the values, safety. and interests of a community or society. A moral panic is often initiated by the media and enhanced through society who spreads the panic. Moral panics are often based on race or ethnicity, class, sexuality, nationality or religion, drawing stereotypes and reinforcing them.

What is an example of a moral panic you’re aware of?

The recent COVID-19 brought a moral panic that made consumers believe that they needed to buy large amounts of toilet paper and other essentials such as tissues, hand sanitiser, milk, pasta and rice to name a few of the items.

What is your stance on the issue? Do you believe the moral fear of this issue is justified or not? Why/why not?

As soon as this moral panic began, I just had to laugh by how people were going crazy stocking up on food items, but more specifically the toilet paper. I knew the symptoms of COVID-19 and if you did contract the virus, the constant need to use the toilet was not one those symptoms. This just showed me how the media made such a fuss over the issue.

I truly believe that the media made this panic worse as it was constantly reporting about the virus and shoppers buying these items in bulk. Obviously people were becoming greedy and so measures needed to be put into place to try to stop the chaos shoppers were creating from the hysteria. I believe that this moral panic was unnecessary and it truly showed the level of greed people have. My family only ever bought what we needed and even as we continue living with this virus still very heavily reported on, we have not bought more than we needed.

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