Opinions and predictions on the emergency in Italy and in the world (update)

Although in Italy the infection concern drops from 90 to 81%, on a global level the same fear is constantly increasing, also due to the economic and social crisis.

However, in Italy after almost two months of restrictive measures impatience is growing,  as well as the belief that after the pandemic we will face a totally new world.

This is the picture that emerges from the research carried out by BVA Doxa on the perceptions, concerns, opinions, and forecasts of Italian citizens regarding the health emergency deriving from the spread of COVID-19. The BVA Doxa survey is part of a larger survey conducted in 18 countries, including the USA, Russia, and India.

Almost two months after the start of the COVID-19 emergency in Italy, Italian citizens and the rest of the world express different concerns, opinions, and forecasts on the current situation, according to the actions taken by their respective governments.

This is the picture coming from the lastest BVA Doxa study conducted on 3-9 of April, which focused on perceptions, concerns, opinions and forecasts regarding the ongoing health emergency; the research is part of an international study carried out in 18 countries, including the USA, Russia and India. The previous survey was conducted last month.

FEAR OF INFECTION REMAINS HIGH: IT’S DECREASING IN ITALY, BUT GROWING ABROAD – Because of the ongoing lockdown measures, the fear of contagion is still deeply rooted in Italians. In fact, 81% of respondents fear to be infected by the virus: despite the significant share, the the figure is falling compared to what was detected in mid-March when the level of concern reached 90%. Women (84%) and young people (86%) are slightly more concerned, while there are no significant differences between geographical areas and regions.

The fear of contracting the coronavirus increased abroad in almost all the countries involved in the survey, probably because the curve of infection was delayed in the rest of the world compared to Italy. The highest growth was recorded in the United States (+ 25%), but a strong increase was detected in Thailand, Switzerland, Argentina, Austria, and Japan as well. The United States provide another interesting result regarding the perceived actual threat of COVID-19: a month ago only 36% considered the virus a real threat, while now the share has doubled (72%).

GOVERNMENTS ARE POSITIVELY EVALUATED ALMOST EVERYWHERE, BUT THE US ARE DIVIDED – The majority of Italians (64%) continue to positively evaluate the work of the government during this health emergency, even if this share has decreased by 8% compared to the previous survey. On a regional level, citizens in Lombardia (59%) are the most critical.

When looking at the rest of the world, countries where citizens seem most satisfied about how their government is managing the emergency are India and Malaysia (91%), followed by Austria (86%), Pakistan (82%) and the Philippines (80%). In Germany, however, the most consistent growth was recorded: a month ago only 47% of Germans trusted the government, while now 75%. The least satisfied citizens are the Japanese (31%) and the Thai (19%). Finally, Trump Administration divides the Americans: 50% trust the Government while the other 50% don’t.

A NEW POST-PANDEMIC WORLD – Only 3 out of 10 Italians (31%) think that at the end of the pandemic everyone will return to a similar situation to the previous one, while almost 6 out of 10 (57%) expect great changes, even an almost entirely “new” world. The latter figure is downsized in the North-West, especially in Lombardia (50%). More uncertainty in the rest of the world: 41% of the world population expects to go back to a “normal” situation similar to the previous one, while 45% think that there will be big changes and an almost completely transformed world.

SLIGHTLY OPTIMISTIC WHEN IT COMES TO GLOBAL SOLIDARITY – A cautious optimism prevails in Italy when thinking about global solidarity: in fact, 40% of Italians expect a greater collaboration between the world’s superpowers, against 33% who fear an increase in conflict; 27%, on the other hand, don’t go too far and prefer not making any predictions on the topic.

International relations follow more or less the Italian data: 50% of the world population foresees relations of greater cooperation between the world powers, 28% fear an increase in conflict and, finally, 22% cannot express themselves on this topic.

ECONOMY AND JOBS: THE MOST AFFECTED BY THE HEALTH CRISIS – With the health crisis still underway, concerns about a potential economic crisis begin to emerge. In fact, 1 in 10 Italians think that they will lose their jobs, and this fear is higher among young people (17%) and in the South / Islands area (16%). In addition, 16% expect – or have already suffered – a temporary suspension of work, and 32% expect a significant reduction in their income. On a global level, 36% of the population complains about a strong loss of wages, especially in Argentina, Indonesia, and Thailand. In addition, 28% of the world’s population has temporarily stopped working and 15% have lost or fear of losing their jobs.

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