Published on 8 December 2021
During a relatively carefree summer, we could once again taste freedom: vaccinations went like clockwork, the Covid Safe Ticket was introduced - the name alone gave hope - and even the mouth masks disappeared from the streets. We could still expect an increase in infections in the autumn, but that would be more of a 'mini-wave'. Nobody seemed very worried, except for a few experts. The fourth wave, however, has given us a severe cold shower: hospitals are once again overcrowded, care and education staff are at their wits' end, and despair is mounting in the hospitality and culture sectors. The reluctant tightening of measures since mid-November in three consultative committees that quickly followed, but also the changing, often complex and inconsistent nature of the measures, caused growing frustration and distrust in the overall strategy, not only among unvaccinated but also among vaccinated persons. The promised realm of freedom turned out to be a sour illusion. With 7/10 of the vaccinated having little or no faith in the expertise of politicians, confidence in the corona policy sank deeper than ever. On the other hand, almost 8/10 vaccinees confirmed their trust in the GEMS, the government's advisory body.
Rising hospitalisation rates during this 4th wave again sharpened risk awareness and thus motivation to make an effort, although this increase stabilised over last weekend. Messages about reaching the peak can probably explain this stabilisation. Unvaccinated persons consider themselves almost invulnerable: they estimate the risk of a (serious) infection and hospitalisation to be lower than vaccinated persons. Even more surprisingly, unvaccinated people think they are less at risk of infection and will have fewer severe symptoms than vaccinated people. The good news is that the population is following the measures more faithfully today than a few weeks ago, with 60% of both vaccinated and unvaccinated intending to limit close contacts to 5 in the next week. Of those vaccinated who have not yet received their third dose, a significant majority (nearly 70%) say they are ready to complete their vaccination programme. Once again, it appears that especially those who opted for the first two shots out of conviction are willing to take a booster shot.
In short, the results in this report clearly show that there is still support for the measures among vaccinated people, but not for the policy pursued. The short succession of consultation committees that decided too little too late each time makes it clear that work is needed on a decision schedule that helps the government to make decisions more quickly and coherently. The corona barometer, which has long been advocated, can fulfil this function. Without a clear short- and long-term decision-making plan, uncertainty about the future will increase and the credibility of politicians will be further undermined. We outline the psychological benefits of such a corona barometer and the contours of a workable implementation. The results from report #37 are based on three measurement moments (total N = 18659) that were taken the day after the decisions of the consultation committee in mid-November, late November and early December, and on a longitudinal sample that was followed over time (N = 1259).
Motivation Barometer (8 December 2021). There is still support for the measures, but no longer for the corona policy (Report No. 37). Ghent, Leuven, Louvain, Bruxelles, Belgium. www.motivationbarometer.com
Reports were originally written in Dutch and translated by DeepL Translate. Translations were checked diagonally. Comments on the structure or translations? Please do not hesitate to contact us
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