Germans adhere to “social distancing” – but do not accept curfew

Germans adhere to

© WELT / Christoph Wanner
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania closes its borders. The state government fears that the coronavirus could on the other hand bring the health system to the brink of collapse. Entry is only possible in exceptional cases. Source: WELT / Christoph Wanner

There is new data every day on the corona virus: how does it spread, how many people die, how does the so-called “doubling time” develop? Nevertheless, experts criticize, little really reliable information is known about the virus and the success of the countermeasures: the number of unreported cases is too high and the test volume too weak.

With their “Corona Study”, researchers at the University of Mannheim now want to at least empirically substantiate how the population reacts to the sometimes drastic measures taken by the government. Since March 20, they have been asking people daily what their lives have been like since the Corona outbreak in order to identify the psychological, economic and social effects of the crisis. In total, more than 4,000 people took part.

For example, researchers led by data scientist Annelies Blom have observed that the frequency with which people meet with friends has decreased significantly in recent weeks. Before the exit restrictions, 42 percent of the people met with other people several times a week, and between March 25 and 31 it was only five percent. 69 percent of Germans have therefore started to “no longer meet” with friends and are bowing to the requirement of “social distancing”.

Only one in five is in the home office

The acceptance of this waiver of social contacts is also reflected in another question. 95 percent of people accept a ban on events and 92 percent accept the closure of public facilities. People would see nationwide curfews much more critically. These would only be acceptable to 41 percent of the respondents. They are even more opposed to a potential cessation of local transport, acceptance is 21.4 percent. It can also be seen that the acceptance of all measures decreased slightly during the week.

© Getty Images / Maja Hitij
BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 01: A man wears a mask near “Altes Museum” during the coronavirus crisis on April 01, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. The coronavirus and the disease it causes, Covid-19, are having a fundamental impact on society, government and the economy in Germany. Public life has been restricted to the essentials in an effort by authorities to slow the spread of infections. Hospitals are scrambling to increase their testing and care capacity. An economic recession seems likely as economic activity is slowed and many businesses are temporarily closed. Schools, daycare centers and universities remain shuttered. And government, both federal and state, seek to mobilize resources and find adequate policies to confront the virus and mitigate its impact. (Photo by Maja Hitij / Getty Images)

The study also shows, however, that almost 60 percent of Germans continue to work “on site” on a regular basis, and only 21.2 percent have switched to their home office. 6.1 percent of those questioned are on short-time work, 12.7 percent were released with or without wages.

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