Some 2 million Dutch actively avoiding coronavirus news
A group of around 2 million Netherlands residents are actively avoiding news about the coronavirus, and rarely talk about the virus, according to a study by research agency Newcom among a representative group of over 5 thousand Dutch aged 16 and older. Especially among young people, there are relatively many who seem to be trying to ignore the Covid-19 crisis, AD reports.
The researchers asked participants about the coronavirus crisis, the restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus, and how they feel about it. They divided the Dutch population into five groups, ranging from "ultra driven" who follow all the news, discuss everything, and fully support measures, to the "corona blockers" who are actively trying to "block out" the crisis.
This group of "corona blockers" consists of almost 2 million people, who do not know much about the virus, hardly follow the news, and don't really support the strict measures in place. They are evenly distributed across the Netherlands. Though there are relatively manly "corona blockers" in the construction industry, in financial services, and in the tourism and catering industry.
About 4.5 million Dutch are "passive followers", the level just above the "corona blockers". "They may still abide by the rules, but are less convinced of the usefulness and necessity of the restrictions, nor do they discuss it much with others," researcher Steven Bokee said to AD. According to him, these two bottom groups pose a risk for an effective policy against the coronavirus. "You are talking about 6.5 million Dutch people."
For maximum control of the spread of the coronavirus, the government needs large groups of people to comply with the measures. The virus jumps easily from person to person, so the more people have contact with one another, the more the virus spreads.
83 percent of respondents told the researchers that they are adhering to social distancing rules, ranging from 70 percent of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 to 91 percent of elderly over the age of 75. Only 5 percent said they explicitly do not adhere to restrictions. A fifth of Dutch experience the measures as a massive burden, mainly missing visits with friends and family, and canceled holidays. 31 percent said that the coronavirus crisis left them sad or depressed.