Title

“Our people by default are rebellious” – Reflections from Pakistan on COVID-19 and lessons for a developing economy

Abstract/Description

The world was tremendously disrupted by the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The virus brought repercussions of lockdowns, social distancing, and loss of livelihoods. Pakistan experienced nearly a million cases of COVID-19 within its first three waves during 2020-2021. This study aims to untangle the complex pandemic environment of uncertainty, anxiety, misinformation, and government restrictions, and examine its impact on people’s attitudes. Focus is on understanding human behavior within an environment dominated by the pandemic. Qualitative data was collected via focus-groups and in-depth interviews conducted in Pakistan through 2020-2021. Findings highlight that while initial confusions inculcate fear, even paranoia, prolonged exposure to an environment dominated by life-threatening situation results in people gradually adapting by moving through stages including denial, fear and frustration, fatalism and acceptance, and complacence. A ‘New Normal’ can be observed in people’s daily lives even as COVID-19 cases decrease, hence sending ripple effects in the long-term.

Track

Contemporary Issues in Marketing

Session Number/Theme

Session 1D: Consumer Behaviour

Session Chair

Dr. Huma Amir, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

Session Discussant

Dr. Asim Shabbir; Dr. Talha Salam; Dr. Nida Aslam

Start Date/Time

23-6-2022 11:00 AM

End Date/Time

23-6-2022 11:20 AM

Location

Boardroom 3, Marriott Hotel, Karachi

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Jun 23rd, 11:00 AM Jun 23rd, 11:20 AM

“Our people by default are rebellious” – Reflections from Pakistan on COVID-19 and lessons for a developing economy

Boardroom 3, Marriott Hotel, Karachi

The world was tremendously disrupted by the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The virus brought repercussions of lockdowns, social distancing, and loss of livelihoods. Pakistan experienced nearly a million cases of COVID-19 within its first three waves during 2020-2021. This study aims to untangle the complex pandemic environment of uncertainty, anxiety, misinformation, and government restrictions, and examine its impact on people’s attitudes. Focus is on understanding human behavior within an environment dominated by the pandemic. Qualitative data was collected via focus-groups and in-depth interviews conducted in Pakistan through 2020-2021. Findings highlight that while initial confusions inculcate fear, even paranoia, prolonged exposure to an environment dominated by life-threatening situation results in people gradually adapting by moving through stages including denial, fear and frustration, fatalism and acceptance, and complacence. A ‘New Normal’ can be observed in people’s daily lives even as COVID-19 cases decrease, hence sending ripple effects in the long-term.