Public Opinion on the Coronavirus Situation: Normalization in Progress

The public beliefs when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic are starting to normalize. The panic is decreasing, with some fears losing their dynamic values and locking themselves in a stable state. The overall acceptance of the measures, taken by the government in the last two months, is high. Nonetheless, fears linked to financial instability are also rising.

Those are some of the conclusions and hypothesis based on the 7th snap poll regarding the coronavirus , carried out by “Gallup international’. The research has been made between the 15th and 18th of May.

Fear, the government and the measures:

Crystallization of picture?


The panic involving the coronavirus continues to decrease, with more and more people considering that the coronavirus has a lethal effect and is one most terrifying thing to ever happen to the humankind. 17% of the respondents believe that, however in March and April those numbers were 22-24%.


At the same time, the proportions that display the terrified and the calm reactions show sighs of conceptualized limits. The share of those who consider the coronavirus to be dangerous, but also think of it as a strong flu remains about 60%. The portion of respondents that state that there is no real threat and it is mostly overexaggerated, has its increased growth left to fluctuate around 20%. A minority of the respondents hesitate to answer.

It looks like that the social panic around the state of emergency and the tighter regulations revolving around social isolation stands, nonetheless the danger is more clearly understood and the massive public conscience has become clearer, after the dynamic fluctuations of ‘yesterday’.

At this background 61% find that the regulations implemented by the government against the virus are sufficient, with 29% thinking that those regulations are too much and 9%, who state that they are insufficient. There are few who are hesitant. After weeks of a steady decrease of ratios that constitute ‘sufficient’ measures and a growth in those who think measures are ‘too much’. Nowadays there seems to be a certain stability in those levels.

The normalization can also be seen, when examining the approval of the government and the National Operations Headquarters (NOH).  Gradually the levels of trust are decreasing each week, a good indicator for this are the peaks of trust 2 mounts ago. Despite this, the overall trust in the government and the (NOH) remain relatively in same valued as the registered in previous waves of the survey. The prime minister Borisov remains with a positive situational evaluation – 54% approve, 41% do not approve and 5% are hesitant. This level of trust proves to be higher than the ordinary, which was measured months ago. Behind those positive levels are government’s correct assumptions towards public tendencies.

It is rather curious to examine, how the public perceives docent Mangurov – who has proven himself to be the symbol of the alternative view when it comes to the pandemic. 49% approve of him, 30% do not and the rest are hesitant. Just for comparison, prof. Mutafciiski has an approvement ratio of 70%, 26% do not approve of him and 4% are hesitant.

86% of respondents consider Bulgaria to be tackling the coronavirus crisis rather successfully, compared to the rest of the European countries, which again constitutes that the measures against the pandemic are met with a high approval rate among Bulgarians.


Confidence levels and perspectives:

The state of emergency was necessary; it is now time for normalization.


From the distance of time, the decision to implement a state of emergency in the country in the last two months is met with approval. Majority of 75% believes that this decision was necessary. A little over one-fifth (21%) of the questioned find it unnecessary. The rest cannot decide.

Expectations for gradual normalization and return of everyday livelihood are growing. Close to two-thirds of the respondents believe that by the end of the year the country will return to normal. 30% are somewhat sceptical, that we will return to the normal way of life by the end of 2020 and 5% cannot decide.

51% of Bulgarians consider, that travelling to foreign countries have to be limited. 41% are not backing up this statement. The rest are finding it difficult to answer.

Concerns about finances:

Establishing robust levels

The levels of fear regarding personal finances remains the same as last weeks. 45% of Bulgarians admit having a lower income as a result of the crisis.

The share of Bulgarians that report losing their jobs as a result of the crisis remains the same as before – 10%. This ratio was the same two weeks ago and 3% was the starting point two months ago.

There is also no serious change in the number of Bulgarians who think that they will lose their job, compared to the last wave of the survey – 9%. All of this means that, the unease about financial stability, which fluctuated around the last two months, now establishes certain level and remains high.

With the government measures becoming less rigid when it comes to travelling around the country, less people state that they work from home (19% now, 25% in April) or expect to lose their job – 9% now, 12-14% two months ago. ‘I decided to self-isolate’ state 25% of the respondents, compared to March (36%).

Nowadays, 7% admit they stopped paying their depts, 3% – leasing. With fewer working hours are 15% of responders.


CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing); national represenative sample (850 effective interviews ) for the population aged 18 and over. 15-18.05.2020 г. Absolute maximum error 3.3 at 50% shares.


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