This behavior had arisen in my consciousness and I have observed it multiple times but didn’t have a name for it until I read the article in the Washington Post by Marc Fisher about “hygiene theater.”
Hygiene theater is intended to lower anxiety about catching covid while the unintended side effects of the supposed hygienic practices can make the likelihood of catching Covid higher.
The same theatrical management of supposed terrorist threats leads to terrorist theater.
Community psychologists and Social Workers who study macro systems might be on to this phenomena. It might be a good thing if more people, especially the policy and procedure implementers were aware of it.
The concept of hygiene theater might also be helpful in clinical settings if psychotherapists discussed this drama with their clients and how the dramatic “precautions” instill needless anxiety.