Almost two years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a growing number of people in several Western countries are prioritizing protecting the economy over fighting the virus, even though this results in more Covid deaths, a a poll revealed on Monday.
The survey of 6,000 people living in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Sweden and Japan showed the tide had turned against restrictions linked to Covid, the firm said from Kekst CNC.
“In every country, the proportion of those who want their governments to prioritize limiting the spread of the coronavirus rather than protecting the economy has declined,” the report said, adding that mass support for the blockages “seem to be coming to an end”.
The last Kekst CNC Covid tracker survey was carried out between September 28 and October 5.
Germany and Britain were among the countries where citizens’ priorities had changed the most since the last follow-up in May.
Forty percent of Germans said the government’s priority should be to limit the spread of the virus, up from 49% five months ago.
Thirty-nine percent stressed the need to protect the economy, up nine percentage points.
The change was even more marked in Britain, where 42% want to prioritize the pandemic over the economy, a drop of 19 percentage points from May.
The report also showed that large majorities in all six countries rejected the reimposition of most types of restrictions, even though hospitals are struggling to cope with Covid cases this winter.
France was the country with the lowest level of support in the fight against Covid-19, with 36% of them saying it should be the top priority, while the same proportion said the economy should shift to first.
– Vaccines divisions –
The report warned that the mood of national unity that prevailed in most countries at the start of the pandemic, when people gathered on their balconies at night to applaud health workers, had run out of steam.
“The atmosphere” all together “has degraded into a society” beyond oneself “, with flagrant divisions opening up between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated,” warned Kekst CNC.
The divisions seemed most striking in the United States, where 58% of those polled said they could actively avoid traveling to areas of the country with low vaccination rates.
A majority of Americans also said they would work from home to avoid coming into contact with an unvaccinated coworker.
The survey also showed that the United States overtook France as the country with the highest level of vaccine resistance.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans said they had taken or received the vaccine, compared to 91 percent in Britain, 88 percent in Germany and 84 percent in France.
© 2021 AFP