Polarisation Prophylaxis: A Health Check on UK Society During The COVID-19 Crisis

While organisations and individuals are continuing to adapt to a new and acute physical health threat, experts on social cohesion are also beginning to run health checks on civil society more generally. Last week, Cumberland Lodge hosted Professor Graham Smith, Tessa van Rens, and Will Tanner, for a webinar on polarisation and whether it is being diminished or augmented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout a lively discussion, the panellists highlighted the need to understand polarisation in light of pre-pandemic social divides and drew attention to both the opportunities and risks inherent in a virus that has already spread from individual immune systems to the ‘immune system’ of society at large.