Concern for the coronavirus situation is slowly becoming less acute, while people are still observing prevention and safety precautions, a survey commissioned by the Government Office and carried out by pollster Turu-uuringute AS last week reveals.
Insecurity peaked in mid-December when 75 percent of people found the situation critical. The figure dropped to 66 percent in the first half of January and lands on 57 percent in the recent survey round, the Ministry of Social Affairs communicated.
At the same time, the number of people who feel that while the crisis is past its prime, one needs to stay vigilant and observe safety rules has grown from 9 percent in December to 27 percent now. The situation is still found critical by 79 percent of people 75 or older but only by 45 percent of those in the 25-49 age group.
"People claim to still observe guidelines for stopping the spread of the virus. Nine people out of ten wear a mask and we can see no changes here," said Vaike Vainu, head of surveys for Turu-uuringute AS. 70 percent of people say they remember and observe all rules, while 20 percent claim to comply with most.
"Perception of the criticality of the situation falling is worrying as it might translate into lackluster compliance with measures at one point. That said, so-called crisis fatigue is understandable and only human," said Andero Uusberg, behavioral scientist and member of the COVID-19 advisory council. "It is very good to see that wearing a mask and washing one's hands often have become social norms. Every little effort yields a powerful result in the end," he added.
39 percent of people questioned support tougher measures, while many are in favor of keeping current ones. Around 18 percent would like to see measures relaxed. 63 percent of people questioned are either satisfied or rather satisfied with how the situation has been handled, up 10 percent from December, Vainu said.
43 percent of residents said that the coronavirus situation has had a negative impact on income. There is no change since the start of January.
Awareness of local government aid measures remains relatively low as 55 percent of people say they are not aware of local government support and services, while just 17 percent claim to be. Only 46 percent claim to know where to find information on local government support instruments. Awareness has not changed since early January.
The survey round was carried out between January 22 and 25.
Editor: Marcus Turovski