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The Importance of Self Efficacy in Covid-19 Pandemic

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Life has been so normal and free until the virus came to the country wherein cases and deaths were increases reported each day. According to WHO (World Health Organization), the coronavirus disease or also known today as COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It all started in Wuhan, China by 19th of December 2019 which arises in the Philippines on the 30th of January 2020 by the reason of having the first patient of COVID-19. It is also reported that it was locally transmitted and confirmed that there is first positive patient. COVID-19 can spread quickly person to person. It can be passed on when a sick person coughs or sneezes wherein people can spray droplets as far as 6 feet away and if you breathe them in you’ll get the virus. Also, there are some people who do not have the symptoms but still gets the virus.

According to Bandura (1986, 2003), people can learn by literally observing other people’s behavior with or without performing any actions. Based on what I have observed with this pandemic, people depicts different negative reactions and behavior. Some are panicking, worried, terrified and angry. Some are clueless, ignorant and still in shocked. Herein, the community were eager to buy face masks and toiletries to protect them from the virus. Since I am part of the community I was worried about my health too. I bought face masks, alcohol, anti-bacterial soap just to avoid it.Moreover, complex human behavior can be learned by evaluating the outcome of a certain behavior whether it is satisfying or dissatisfying (Bandura, 1986). This applies to the rules that we are following right now. Social distancing were implemented and social gatherings are cancelled. This might be quite disappointing but it will benefit us because in this way, we are lessening the chance of the virus to be passed on.

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Also, we are wearing masks anywhere we go because we have learned that when we do not use them we are probably risking our lives from harm.COVID-19 bring so much changes within the community, while the behavior of the people affects negatively and positively. Some are using the social media platform to verbalize their thoughts and feelings on how they feel about the virus. Some are adopting the new way of living. Different individuals, executing different coping skills on how will they normalize the “new normal”. Wearing face masks, gloves, maintaining a 6 feet inches distance as you to groceries must always be applied. Front liners and volunteers are doing their best to prevent people from getting the virus and help people to survive their daily needs. They help people to minimize their worries and fear and encouraged to be positive about it. This example illustrates reciprocal interaction of behavior, environment and personal factors. Mainly, the environment changes because of the corona virus whereas people are affected because of it and people are executing a behavior that is caused by the environment.Bandura (1998) emphasizes how chance encounters and fortuitous events important in our lives because even though we can control our lives, yet we cannot predict all the possible environmental changes. Just like the pandemic we are experiencing right now is not unprecedented nor unpredictable. Here in the Philippines, hundreds of people died and thousands of cases confirmed because of COVID-19.

We cannot see the virus when it is roaming around us, we cannot say or predict when will it end. We cannot control the virus to just stop. We cannot control what will happen and what was happened. We met people by chances. But the thing or least we could do is to be positive in all times by simply following orders like staying at home and do things that will benefit us even though we are experiencing these kind of sufferings.Bandura (2004) discusses four core features of human agency; intentionality, forethought, self-reactiveness, and self-reflectiveness. Firstly, intentionality wherein it pertains to people that is intentionally making a decision or action that includes planning. The perfect example of this is the president’s announcement. The first announcement of the president that regards to the lockdown whereas a 30-day community quarantine across the entire island of Luzon but then It was extended again including all places in the Philippines. It will change any time in accordance with the outcome that will happen.Secondly, people possess forethought to set goals and to differentiate the outcomes of the actions that was performed wherein people are the ones who will select behaviors that is acceptable and avoid the undesirable ones. As stated earlier, the president announced that the community quarantine will be implemented as long as it is helping the people by not risking their lives going outside.

The decision is based on the people’s safe and security.Thirdly, people must plan accordingly to the reality. Self-reactiveness is where people must be motivated by their actions not only to keep an eye to their own actions but it must be achievable. People in the community are being creative during the lockdown. People makes a DIY (do-it-yourself) face masks, artists and bands are organizing an online concert to gather donations to help the people in need, people are discovering their skills in cooking or even in arts, people are making fun videos to educate the youth concerning the COVID-19 and kept themselves entertained in amidst of the pandemic we are experiencing. By this, the goal is achievable because people motivated on what they do.Lastly, self-reflectiveness wherein people learn by observing and evaluating their own experiences and other people’s actions that they also do which people reflect on what are the things that needs to change. Similarly to other government officials that are not helping in amidst of the pandemic we are experiencing, the people who are perfect example that we do not want to be and evaluating ourselves on what have we done wrong.According to Bandura (1994) self-efficacy is a people’s belief system that they are capable of controlling their own actions over environmental events. The basic principle of self-efficacy is when the higher a person self-efficacy is, the more they believe that they can accomplish a task. But when accomplishing a task with a lower their self-efficacy the less capable they will succeed. It relates on how people are venting out their feelings about the COVID-19 in social media.

The people who are very verbal about their feelings are the people who have a higher self-efficacy than the ones who are not. In addition, self-efficacy is influences by several factors such as mastery of experiences, social modeling, social persuasion, and physical or emotional states. Firstly, mastery of experiences is where the person’s performance are based on the experiences from the past that was successfully executed before. It is a way which people’s basis how they have done with the similar task before. With respect to the pandemic we are experiencing, there are people who surpasses the previous virus like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) which was identified in year 2003 wherein it can also be passed on to person to person or any other virus that has been circulate around the world just like the COVID-19. These are the people who are very confident that they will survive this pandemic too. On the contrary of this, people who are not yet experience this type of scenario from their lives are actually the people who fear most because they have a low self-efficacy. But when people survived it, their self-efficacy will go higher because people will believe that they are strong enough to face this kind of situation again. Secondly, social modeling is when the learner observes other people’s experiences with the task and they are more impacted if the person they are observe as someone they perceive is more similar to themselves such a peer. In this case, people are highly competitive when their friends are achieving something. Just like people in social media, during the community quarantine at home their friends are making fun videos out of boredom and they imitate it by making other videos too wherein they are getting likes and the more they are gaining likes, the more they will be exerting more effort in which their self-efficacy is increased. However, when people will see their posts that are not gaining any likes, they are more likely to have a low self-efficacy because they are judging their own ability on other people. 

Thirdly, social persuasion can negatively or positively impact the self-efficacy of a person. For instance, A COVID-19 patient comforts by the doctor will help them boost their self-efficacy unlike the other ordinary person who cheer them up because the idea that a doctor can heal a person which makes them very reliable that persuades the patient more rather than the regular ones. By this, suggestions and advices from the doctor will led to believing that a COVID-19 patient can cope successfully with what has overwhelmed them. On the other hand, telling a person negative things or they are incapable of doing something will cause doubt that will lower down their self-efficacy. Lastly, physical and emotional states is the final source of efficacy wherein people who have a strong emotion tend to have a lower performance. When a person experience fear, stress, acute anxiety they most likely to have a lower self-efficacy. Suppose a person were experiencing physical sensation and discomfort in his stomach when talking to people wherein they exemplify failure because they are tense and agitated. Another way of viewing this is how will a person will interpret it. Given that, tense and discomfort leads to failure which automatically lower down the self-efficacy but when she labeled it as a feeling of excitement it might interpreted as achievement which will cause to high level of self-efficacy. Overall, a person’s self-efficacy impacts the goal that sets for themselves, the amount of effort they exerted, and the determination facing difficulties.

People are responsible for how their lives turn out wherein it is influence by our environment both in terms of natural surroundings and social structure. Bandura (2001) noted that “no one has the time, energy, and resources to master every realm of everyday life.” It means that people are dependent to other people because we are not good at everything. It illustrates the role of doctors and nurses, people are dependent to them especially now that the country needed help from them because of virus. By their help, the ultimate goal of the community will be achieved when the coronavirus will be vanished forever or have a cure for it. When there is a dependency on experts, there is also a team work to achieve one’s goal called “collective efficacy”. In collective efficacy, people are sharing their beliefs in order to achieve a certain goal. This is the perfect example of the people who are willing to help the people in need specifically the front liners. They are working with combined group of people with different abilities and expertise in order to stop spreading the virus all over the country. Having said that, If people have high self-efficacy they are confident in their in their reliance on proxies, and possess solid collective efficacy, they will have the ability to regulate their own behavior. Also, people use both reactive and proactive strategies for self-regulation wherein people are reactively attempt to reduce higher standards between the accomplishments and goals but after they close these standards, they proactively set a higher and newer goals for themselves. (Bandura, 1994).

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