Close this search box.

COVID-19 Responses : Kathleen Tierney, IBS Fellow, Former Director NHC

Kathleen Tierney, former Director of the Natural Hazards Center here at IBS, has recently been interviewed by multiple media sources about the COVID-19 situation.  

Listen to Kathleen Tierney on Colorado Public Radio (90.1 FM and today (March 11) at 9am.  

Tierney also appeared on Al Jazeera TV station discussing COVID-19. 

You can also read The New Yorker column (summarized below) here


As the coronavirus has spread around the world, people have begun taking cautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Supermarkets have sold out of non-perishable items and sanitizing products, and there is now an increased emphasis on stopping us from infecting each other rather than stopping others from infecting us. CU Administration has been taking measures to encourage remote work environments and additional support for students and staff.  

Although many are citing COVID-19 as a cause for panic, Kathleen Tierney, former Director of the Natural Hazards Center here at IBS, believes otherwise. “We prefer to think in terms of behavior, in conditions of uncertainty,” she says. Many behavioral scientists, epidemiologists, and psychologists are hesitant to use the word “panic.” They believe Americans are acting in a manner that shows they are distrustful of our leadership. Americans are not panicking and losing control of normal, routine actions. Instead, Tierney notes that Americans are taking cautionary measures because they are unsure if our government can help them through this crisis and so they have adopted the “every man for himself” mentality.


Article written by Sierra Gonzalez, IBS Student Assistant and Strategic Communications Major.