Social Disobedience: The Evolution of America's Social Response to a National Health Emergency


Social Disobedience: The Evolution of America’s Social Response to a National Health Emergency explores the effects of a global pandemic on modern-day American society. Through a comparative analysis of effects from other major pandemics, such as the Philadelphia Yellow Fever, Spanish Flu, Hong Kong Flu, HIV/AIDS, and Swine Flu, the paper argues the United States was unprepared for the social response to the Novel Coronavirus.

Throughout history, epidemics have caused significant alterations in living habits, social interactions, spending practices, and education. However, efforts to contain or combat these terrible healthcare emergencies have often met societal resistance. Some containment efforts have even been considered an infringement of one’s Constitutional Rights as citizens.

Sadly, history has illustrated that rebellious Americans have put aside the fear of spreading illness to other human beings to justify their own personal inconvenience. To further enhance societal response, modern-day individuals utilize technology such as social media to promote propaganda that suggests other diseases are far more dangerous, taking more lives yearly than the epidemic at hand. Social media platforms also allow individuals to spread their messages of discontent. Furthermore, the material shared on social media is both correct and incorrect, creating a situation where society does not know what information is actually accurate and beneficial.

This research provides a better understanding of how society has changed, and how an act of humanitarianism becomes an act of present-day sociopolitical harassment. These drastic societal changes have propelled us into a direction without values and void of kindness toward others.

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2020

Senior Project Advisor

Scott Douglas

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

General Studies

Document Type


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