Udayavni Special

People more worried about economic crisis than Covid-19, says study


PTI, May 24, 2020, 7:07 PM IST

New Delhi: People are more worried about economic crisis than health issues emanating from coronavirus pandemic, according to an online study conducted by IIM Lucknow on “Understanding public sentiment during lockdown”.

The study – conducted by Centre for Marketing in Emerging Economies (CMEE) at IIM Lucknow – revealed that majority (79 per cent) of people are worried and surrounded by feeling of fear (40 per cent) and sadness (22 per cent).

The study, based on responses of participants from 104 cities across 23 states, said majority of respondents are worried about the economic impact of the lockdown.

The other dominant fear among the people is the irrational behaviour of people, once the lockdown is lifted.

“Worries of economic impact are top most in mind of people (32 per cent) while fear of others behaving irresponsibly during lockdown (15 per cent) and the uncertainty of it all (16 per cent) are the other key fears.

“The single largest reason for worry voiced related to the economic impact of the lockdown following by the uncertainty around how long this will last. Worry of getting infected was not actually their biggest worry (14 per cent),” it said.

The research study was conducted by Satyabhusan Dash and Avinash Jain (IIM Lucknow) in association with Ashu Sabharwal and Ankita Singh ( Qualisys research & consulting) and Mohankrishnan (Former VP, Kantar).

It also showed that about 3 out of 5 expressed confidence in the government actions to help India combat the pandemic.

Confidence increased from 57 per cent in Lockdown 1.0 to 63 per cent in Lockdown 2.0 as health infrastructure improved with news of masks, PPE kits arriving and better protocols being set.

“Most of the confidence stems from the early lockdown undertaken by government and its efforts to maintain social distancing and contact tracing (70 per cent),” it said.

Twenty nine per cent people surveyed felt good about people cooperating and adhering to required rules, 26 per cent expressed satisfaction with lower number of cases, and 19 per cent appreciated the strong leadership shown by the government, said the study based on 931 respondents.

“Fear and sadness are the most dominant emotions for most with over 40 per cent expressing fear and 22 per cent expressing sadness…Between the Lockdown 1.0 & 2.0, while there is not much change in fear as an emotion,” it said.

CMEE said the study was conducted online in English across various social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin and covered the Lockdown 1.0 and 2.0 period (March 25th to May 3rd).

Given the nature of these platforms, the survey has a skew predominantly towards male (62 per cent) versus female (38 per cent), higher education (63 per cent post graduation and over) and upper income participants with 40 per cent of over 10 lakh annual income, it added.

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