Evaluations of authorities’ activities regarding the coronavirus remain high, although gradually declining compared to the beginning of the crisis. Concerns about the disease continue to decline, although they remain predominant. Measures against the disease are perceived as rather sufficient, but those in support of the economy are not.
These are the main conclusions of the sixth wave of polling, conducted by “Gallup International” regarding the coronavirus crisis in Bulgaria. The main part of the survey was already trough before the press conference on Sunday (the 3rd of May), when the easing of the measures was announced.
Society remains anxious about the disease, but anxiety continues declining visibly. 56% of the respondents consider the coronavirus dangerous, but still just a flu. Since the end of March this share has been steadily declining, but even today it remains the largest, compared to the other options. The “not serious danger” option has been growing popularity at the expense of the “deadly danger” option. Thus now, for the first time since the beginning of the crisis, our survey registers a bigger share of calmness regarding the coronavirus than the share of panic fear: 23% believe that the coronavirus is not a serious danger, and 20%, on the contrary, believe that it is a deadly threat to humanity. A minor share of the respondents cannot answer.
Most Bulgarians continue to find the government’s measures against the coronavirus sufficient, but the feeling that the measures are excessive slowly finds its way around. A month and a half ago two thirds of the respondents said the measures were enough. Gradually, this share has dropped to 55% now. Over the same period, the opinion that the measures are too much gradually affirmed itself from 17% up to 32%. A minority of the respondents cannot form an opinion. Apparently, the trend of growing public impatience, noted in the previous snap poll, continues.
Curiously, in the last ten days the share of those who consider the measures insufficient is slightly growing – from 8 up to 12%. This may be due to fear of easing the measures too early or dissatisfaction with the way they are observed by many.
In general, however the panicked Bulgarians are already a small group. The fact that a majority of 53% believes that the time has come to lift the travel restrictions proves it. 44% say it is too early. The rest hesitate in answering. Apparently, the announcement of the forthcoming easing of the measures comes just in time.
Approval for the state authorities remains high. However, the gradual normalization of the public evaluations regarding the government – after the initial boost of trust at the beginning of the crisis. In the current situation with the coronavirus Prime Minister Borisov remains approved by more than half of the Bulgarians – 55%. Thus, the situational approval of Borissov is significantly higher than the trust in him in a normal situation.
Income anxiety remains high, but it seems that it is no longer growing as intensely as it did at the beginning of the crisis. In the second half of March, 36% claimed that their income had decreased due to coronavirus, a month later they were already 47%, and now they are practically the same share – 46%.
17% now report that their working time was reduced. Ten days ago, this share was almost the same, and in the peak of the anxiety about the infection the share was 14%.
8% say that they are about to lose their jobs now, ten days ago it was 14%, and a month before – 12%.
However, the growth of unemployed is worrying – since the beginning of the crisis those who have lost their jobs have increased by nearly 280.000 and the total unemployment is currently on the verge of the first two-digit number, according to calculations from our polling so far.
Overall, the government’s measures in support of the economy and companies are assessed as unsatisfactory so far. 46% find them insufficient, 26% – sufficient, and 25% do not feel familiar with the measures. Another 3% admit they cannot answer. Awareness is hardly high, but it is clear that, at least for now, the government has failed to convince Bulgarians in the effectiveness of its economic actions.
CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview); 881 interviews – national representative for the population 18+ sample. 01-03.05.2020. Absolute maximum error: ± 3.3 at 50% shares. 1% of the sample equals ~ 55 thousand people.