Covid 19; Society More Divided than Before

Covid 19; Society More Divided than Before

With Covid 19 pandemic in its second year hitting hard the life of people across the globe, the people in advanced economies feel that their society is more divided than before the tragedy struck the world.

In the 17 advanced economies where PEW Research Centre held a survey found that a median of 34 per cent feel more united. The study reports that feelings of division increased significantly in about 12 of the countries.

SOCIAL DIVISION

The PEW Centre survey finds that social divisions increased drastically with the pandemic. About 61 per cent of the people in 17 advanced economies say they are now more divided than before the outbreak. It said that only 34 per cent felt more united.

In the US, 88 per cent of the people surveyed say that they are more divided than before the pandemic. Canadian people also had the highest percentage of people with the same thoughts. In Europe, a majority of the people talk of wide division. Pessimistic views are particularly widespread in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany where about eight-in-ten report more division. Four-in-ten people in Sweden and the UK believe they are more united than before the outbreak.

In the Asia Pacific region, the views are varied. Majority of the people in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore say they are more united now than before the pandemic. However, a major share of the people in Japan and South Korea feel more divided.

The survey finds that the percentage of people who think that the pandemic increased division increased by 20 percentage points or more in Canada (+32 points), Japan (+32), the Netherlands (+30), South Korea (+25) and Germany (+23). However, the survey also notes that some countries also showed more unison.

CHANGE IN LIFE

A majority of the people surveyed pointed out that Covid 19 pandemic affected their day-to-day life. The PEW Centre says that the numbers increased in ten of the 13 countries surveyed in both 2020 and 2021. Mostly the young people reported about change in their lives.

PUBLIC SPLIT ON COVID RESTRICTIONS

The survey finds that about four-in-ten says that the level of restrictions on public activity was right. The survey shows that only a minority thought of fewer restrictions. In Asia- Pacific region, about 63 per cent of the people felt that restrictions on social activity were about right. A majority of the people in North America and Western Europe believed that restrictions did not go far enough in their own countries.

ECONOMY DIVIDE

The PEW Centre tells about mixed reactions on the economic implications of Covid 19 pandemic. About 46 per cent of the people surveyed believed that their economy is recovering from the effects of the pandemic. However, an equal percentage of people think the opposite. This difference of opinion was quite evident in Western Europe. Among eight European Union members, about 48 per cent say the level of economic aid thus far is about right, while 40 per cent say it has fallen short. The Pew Centre says that Greeks and Spaniards voiced the most concern.

COVID RESPONSE

In the global economies surveyed, most of the people expressed satisfaction on the overall response to the pandemic where they live. However, this feeling came down in many places when the surveyed progress. When about 60 per cent of the surveyed people feel that their society did a good job dealing with the Pandemic, 40 per cent felt that the society fared poorly. However, the report notes that the percentage of people positive views of their own pandemic response decreased in just a year. In Germany, the report says that 88 per cent of the people in 2020 approved of their country’s response to the virus. This year, only 51 per cent of the people stick to this opinion. The Netherlands, Japan and Canada also saw decreases of at least 20 points.

In response to future public health emergencies, majority of the people surveyed expressed confidence that their health care system could handle such a situation.

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