‘Comparative optimism’ a major hurdle in Covid 19 safety measures

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The people have to adhere to local restrictions, social distancing and engage in personal hygiene until a vaccine or an effective care is made available for Covid-19. Well, a new study says that overcoming the relationship between risk perceptions and comparative optimism during the pandemic was a major hurdle for engaging the public in behavioural advice .

The researchers said that most of the people during the first lockdown period believed they were unlikely to be at risk of COVID-19 when compared to others. The Health Psychologists and Sociologists from King’s College, London, held the study that was published in         journal Health Expectations. The researchers looked at   comparative optimism for infection and recovery from COVID-19. Comparative optimism is a concept in health risk research, where people believe negative events are more likely to happen to others than themselves.

The researchers analysed data of 645 UK adults during weeks 5-8 of the lockdown. The sample was normally distributed in terms of age and reflected the UK ethnic and disability profile. It was found that majority of the respondents believed that they were not at risk of Covid 19 during the first lockdown period.

The researchers noted that comparative optimism might have led people to careless behaviour after lockdown restrictions were lifted. They found that 25 per cent of the respondents agreed to have broken the restrictions. It was comparative optimism that led to people do so, the study added.

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