Thursday, 24 September 2020

Covidiots - Losing the Arguments, Mostly

New Study: Face-Covering Use Up, More People Are Taking COVID-19 Threats Seriously | University of Central Florida News.

Slightly reassuring news today that, in the USA at least, the covidiots appear to be losing the argument - well most of them, anyway.

The Risk and Policy Group of the University of Central Florida has published the second in their ongoing series of surveys into public attitudes towards the Covid-19 pandemic which shows an increase in mask-wearing and an increased perception of risk from the virus.

This survey, of the opinions of more than 2000 people across six states was conducted in August this year, as America was in the middle of a second spike of cases, much more severe than the initial peak in March and April.

79% of Americans now wear a mask in public indoor spaces - up from 66% in the first survey in May/June.

There has been a slightly increased perception of the risk of catching the virus in the next 3 months - up just 2% to 30% - probably a statistically insignificant change. 36% thought they had a chance of becoming seriously ill if they caught the virus and 23% thought they would dies from it (up 2% and 1%, respectively)

The more worrying change is, despite increased perceptions of risk from the virus, there was an 8 percentage point fall in those willing to get a vaccination when one becomes available (down from 54% in May to 46% in August). The main concerns seems to be the safety of any vaccine, with doubts about it's efficacy and probable high cost also being cited! With 23% thinking they might die from Covid-19 in the next three months, one wonders what they think those risks are and how they outweigh the risk of dying!

This also reflects a general distrust of science amongst Americans after decades of anti-science propaganda from the extreme right, since the processes potential vaccines are required to go through before getting approval are specifically to test efficacy and safety.

The problem of cost is probably because Americans in general are fundamentally opposed to free medical care, even when there is an overwhelming greater good involved, having been conditioned since the 1950s to reject anything that smacks of 'creeping Communism', so the assumption is that a vaccine, when it becomes available, will be price-rationed and therefore unavailable to the lower income groups. If true, this can only exacerbate the social divisions in the USA even further.

Latest Daily new cases for USA - 24 Sep, 2020
Probably as a result of this increased awareness of the risk from the virus, 43% of parents say they are unlikely to send their children to school when they re-open (up from 35% in May).

Donald Trump's continuing mishandling of the crisis has not gone unnoticed. His approval ratings continue to tumble (from 52% disapproval to 56% disapproval of his handling of the crisis).

More Americans are now likely to support protest movements that contravene lock-down orders. In May, 2% participated in protests against the stay at home orders and 22% supported them. In August 5% took part in the BLM protests and 42% support them.

Further analysis of those who say they wear a mask in public indoor spaces reveals a disparity between gender, education, ethnicity, income and political persuasion:
  • Gender: males are less likely to wear a mask than females.
  • Education: people with a college education or higher are more likely to wear a mask than those with only high school education or below.
  • Income: The lowest income groups are the least likely to wear a mask.
  • Ethnicity: Hispanics and Asians are more likely to wear a mask than whites, with non-Hispanic blacks and other non-Hispanics least likely.
  • Those with politically liberal opinions are much more likely to wear a mask than those in the political centre, with those on the conservative wing, the least likely.

Clearly, the Trump campaign in the early stages of the emergency against wearing a mask on the idiotic grounds that the virus was all part of some liberal conspiracy and wearing a mask was elitist and un-American, is still strongly influencing the covidiots, as is the ongoing conservative evangelical Christian campaign against them as somehow demonic.

Education, which is probably entangled with income, is also a significant factor. Possibly because of the cost of masks, those with the lowest educational achievements are also the least likely to wear a mask, or possibly they are the least likely to see through the vacuous arguments of the conservative right or the most likely to be members of conservative evangelical churches.

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1 comment :

  1. The problem with covidiots is their total disregard for other people. 100 people, 99 wearing masks, one covidiot not. The covidiot is endangering all of the other 99.


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