Editorial: Culture and Health

The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which presents a worldwide threat to humans, has focused people’s attention on health and prompted the adoption of new behaviors to decrease infection risks. Concurrently, it has become clear that vulnerability to COVID-19 depends on the underlying social system and individual attitudes toward authority. For instance, many Japanese people may note that Americans protesting the government’s COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates claim freedom of choice, reflecting the dominant cultural value of individualism in U.S. society. Similarly, the cultural norm of collectivism is associated with people’s acceptance of public health interventions (e.g., Lu et al., 2021, regarding mask usage). In the 2021 World Happiness Report, Sachs (2021) noted how cultural values influence health and preventive behavior.

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