Bonding over Euros appears to increase Covid cases among men

The Euros were good news to England fans (until final), but not so good for coronavirus infections (they went down).

Bonding over Euros appears to increase Covid cases among men

The Euros were good news to England fans (until final), but not so good for coronavirus infections (they went down).

The rise and fall of Covid cases in Scotland also mirrored Scotland's football fortunes.

What does this say about the behavior of football fans? And why are men more likely to support this type of group behavior?

Between mid-June to mid-July fans gathered in large numbers to view the Euros for a month - in bars, homes, friends' houses and stadiums.

According to Dr Sandy Wolfson, Northumbria University psychologist, being part of a group can increase self-esteem and confidence, and allow people to express their emotions.

"It confirms their belief that they are superior, not only on the pitch but also in life.

"That they are generous and honest, by example, and a part of an exceptional team."

Even if their team doesn't reciprocate, fans can take comfort in the disappointment of their fellow supporters.

Dr Wolfson believes that there is something evolutionary in football bonding.

She adds, "It's an survival mechanism to be a part of a team - because without it, you are less likely be protected and more likely die out."

Is it really a male thing?

Football's tribal aspect is stronger than other sports, and this could be why it attracts so many men.

A study showed that Covid was more common in men than women during the Euros. In Scotland, there were approximately 2,000 cases.

Although men are more likely to participate in group sports than women, it doesn't mean that women can't.

Dr John Barry, head of male psychology at The British Psychological Society, said that men's expressions are very different from women.

He says that socializing with friends is all about banter, which includes "verbal rough-and-tumble".

It's a bonding activity; they can watch football together and let their emotions out.

Dr Barry says that it is also a great way to improve their mental health.

"Men who don't want to talk about things should watch football."

It's a great way for them to vent their emotions."

He adds that it is easier to talk to one another in the pub after having a few drinks.

Women are, however, more open to one another without being forced to.

The Euros may have arrived at the right time for men. Their interactions with the rest have been severely limited during the pandemic.

Wimbledon, a host of high-profile sporting events, including the Olympics, have been taking place in the past week but they have not brought people onto the streets like the football tournament.

Many psychologists agree that boosting men's well-being came at the cost of an increase in Covid infections.

It's easy for people to view football matches as "frivolous". Dr Barry believes they are important, especially since men aged 40-54 have the highest suicide rates in the UK since 2013. This is despite the fact that there has not been an increase in suicides in the past pandemic.

It seems that most fans can deal with the loss of their team and move on.

Dr Wolfson states that there is still some pain, but they cannot disengage from the club.

England, Scotland, and Wales fans can rest assured that there will always be another match to enjoy - anguish or ecstasy.

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