Strong’s ‘epidemic psychology’ model details how a novel disease can create a social upheaval in which there exists an epidemic of fear, an epidemic of explanation, and an epidemic of action. This thesis applies the ‘epidemic psychology’ model to the current COVID-19 pandemic. I hypothesized that the epidemic of fear is justified by mortality rates, that the epidemic of different courses of action in Florida versus California will lead to different mortality rates, and that inspecting the most comparable historical pandemic of 1968 Hong Kong flu can help us understand how COVID-19 might proceed in the face of the epidemic of explanation. I analyzed CDC mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System to elucidate mortality trends from 1959-1979 and from 2011-2020. I used these trends to forecast how COVID-19 might proceed for the next few years and to understand the extent to which COVID-19 impacted mortality rates in the United States during 2020. I also analyzed mortality rates in California and Florida from the start of 2020 until February 6, 2021 to calculate the mortality rate per capita from COVID-19 for each state. I found that the epidemic of fear is in its florid form given 136,272 excess pandemic-related deaths; that the epidemic of explanation will soon quell as society adapts to mutant strains and vaccine hesitancy; and that the epidemic of action (or lack thereof) did not make a difference in per capita mortality (in CA vs FL) from COVID-19.