As Covid-19 tests and positive results increase, the anxiety among the Bulgarians starts growing again but there is no predisposition for tightening the regulations. The society relies on personal responsibility and on sober judgment regarding the threat. The actions of the state are still positively evaluated, but in the span of a few weeks, the feeling that the threat is under control has decreased. Simultaneously, the hope of fully returning to our daily lives in the near future has also decreased.
The conclusions are based on the ninth wave of telephone-conducted snap poll on the topic “coronavirus”. It was carried out in the period 25-27 June 2020 among 820 Bulgarians over 18. It shows important hypothesis regarding the development of public opinion on the subject.
The concern of infection – again increasing
Following the steady decrease after its peak in April, the public anxiety has now begun rising again. A few weeks ago, 51% were concerned that they or a member of their family may get infected. Now, this share has increased to 60%. Those who are not concerned are 39%, while in the beginning of the month they were 48%.
In the beginning of June, 72% thought that the virus in Bulgaria is under control, which has now decreased to 38%. The change is obvious and it is due to the increase of confirmed cases.
Parallel to this change, the confidence of fully returning to our daily routine by the end of the year has decreased. Forty percent believe in this, while a few weeks ago this share was 61%. Reciprocally, the share of those who do not believe in this possibility increases.
The concerns are obviously rising, but there are still no signs of panic. The anxiety remains far from its peak values, observed in April. Obviously, the society now perceives the virus differently, compared to the beginning of the crisis.
Tightening of regulations? Rather personal responsibility.
Despite the more worrisome situation, a majority of 61% is against a new tightening of regulations. Thirty-eight percent support it. A minority of respondents cannot are indecisive.
The reluctance to accept new limitations is prevailing. Probably because of its position in line with this idea, the government is still positively evaluated, regardless of the observed erosion of public sympathy. Now 59% of the respondents think that the government is dealing well with the situation with 39% on the opposite opinion.
Two-thirds of the respondents claim that they respect the restrictions, 28% do not respect them anymore and 6% say they never did. Maybe there is also a declarative tone to the answers but they are still telling of the level of responsibility realized by a large part of the society. Recently, a research by “Gallup International” showed that a significant majority understands that the responsibility is mainly personal.
The opinion that the threat is exaggerated remains on the levels, measured recently – 59%. The share is relatively large compared to other countries and shows that the Bulgarian society is still incapable of exaggerating the level of danger.
The Bulgarians rather trust the idea of personal responsibility and do not show any signs of panic before the threat. The majority does not expect stricter regulations.
CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview); 820 interviews – national representative for the population 18+ sample. 25-27 June 2020. Absolute maximum error: ± 3.3 at 50% shares. 1% of the sample equals ~ 55 thousand people.