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People more worried about economic crisis than coronavirus, says study

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

May 24, 2020 / 07:01 PM IST

People are more worried about the 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 percent) of people are worried and surrounded by a feeling of fear (40 percent) and sadness (22 percent).

The study, based on responses of participants from 104 cities across 23 states, said the 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 topmost in mind of people (32 percent) while fear of others behaving irresponsibly during lockdown (15 percent) and the uncertainty of it all (16 percent) 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 percent)," it said.


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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 percent in Lockdown 1.0 to 63 percent 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 percent)," it said.

Twenty-nine percent people surveyed felt good about people cooperating and adhering to required rules, 26 percent expressed satisfaction with a lower number of cases, and 19 percent 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 percent expressing fear and 22 percent 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 percent) versus female (38 percent), higher education (63 percent post-graduation and over) and upper-income participants with 40 percent of over 10 lakh annual income, it added.
first published: May 24, 2020 06:59 pm
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