The attitude towards COVID-19 in different sectors of society and EU states is ambiguous, a large-scale survey showed.
The coronavirus has confidently occupied the territory of the entire European Union, but different member states treat it differently. A poll conducted by the European Council on Foreign Relations convincingly proves that the pandemic has divided Europe in two: the south and east feel much more affected than the north and west. The population of some states considers the disease to be the cause of all troubles, while others – the economic consequences of the pandemic.
The biggest difference is between Denmark and Hungary. Approximately 72% of the population is the first to claim that the coronavirus has not affected them, but only 35% of Hungarians agree with this. The opinions of Italians were equally divided – 50% also agree with the majority of Danes. At the same time, the attitude to the pandemic in all countries also depends on age: less than half (43%) of young people under 30 believe that they have not suffered from the coronavirus, while among people aged 60+ such 65%. British political scientist and writer Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, explains:
“A real feeling of anger spread among the young people. In the beginning, they were told that the coronavirus only affects the elderly. But now young people consider themselves the main victim – they see how their life chances, their freedom and way of life have suffered. Therefore, there is a danger that this generation will grow up apolitical. “
The survey revealed another interesting aspect – more than 43% of EU citizens said that their governments were responsible for the pandemic. Mark Leonard continues:
“Many people who have been negatively affected say the biggest problem is that the authorities have now gained too much control over their lives. In the coronavirus outbreak itself, many see a failure not only for the Chinese government, but also for their own countries. An important question arises whether the threats to our freedom are coming from the bottom up or from the top down. “
The pandemic has made many adjustments to everyday life and significantly limited freedoms. People are forced to disclose their personal data, undergo various sanitary procedures, they are now more often stopped and asked to present different documents. As a result, more than 80% of European citizens surveyed believe that due to the coronavirus outbreak, they have partially lost their freedoms.