Perceptions of the personal threat posed by COVID-19 is growing in Spain

According to a study by Ipsos for Grupo Henneo about the impact of Coronavirus in Spain.

The author(s)

  • Vicente Castellanos Country Service Line Leader, Public Affairs, Spain
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Globally, coronavirus is seen as a threat to the world and a threat to certain countries – more than a personal threat. We find this is true of Spanish people, 84% of whom see covid-19 as a threat to the world while 82% consider it a threat to the country.

However, as the number of cases continue to rise, the sense of personal threat is also going up. Our survey shows this especially in Spain (43%) and Italy (48%), countries where the number of people with coronavirus is increasing at alarming rates. In fact, there are now more deaths in Italy than China due to the virus.

Older people in Spain (those above 65 years old) are more likely to consider coronavirus to be a severe threat –confirmed by 56% of our respondents.

The public view from Spain on the impact of the pandemic upon society is shown in a study conducted by Ipsos for Henneo between 13th – 15th March 2020. It analyses perceptions of the spread of the virus and actions from official bodies to slow or stop it.

Only 16% of Spanish People think that this crisis will be over soon, compared to 70% of the population who think it will take a long time – longer than expected – to overcome the situation. We find that the public approve the government’s approach to tackling covid-19, but not overwhelmingly. Although they support the measured implemented to date, they demand stricter actions such as systematically taking temperatures (79% of Spaniards ask for this), and 41% want all public transport to be shut.

Spain is the country that, to prevent transmission, washes their hands the most and shakes hands the least. However, as in the rest of European countries with cases of coronavirus, people in Spain hardly wear masks. Only 6% use them in Spain, less than in England. Germans (5%) wear masks less than Italians (7%), while the figure is slightly higher in France (9%).

The measures that have been put into practice by Spanish people are those advised by the institutions of health and sanitation: wash hands frequently (86%), cough into the elbow (60%), and use hand sanitiser (54%).

Half of Spanish people look to the television as their main source of news and information about covid-19, followed by the internet (48%) and social media networks (36%). These two sources of information are also those that respondents trust the least, in terms of the reliability of the news they put out. At the other end of the scale, information that comes from health workers (93%) and the public health system (66%) inspire the most confidence amongst Spanish people.

Another related question has to do with what the consequences will be when the outbreak is over. In other words, how will it affect Spanish society and Spanish people’s lives once we have managed to put an end to the spread of the illness. On this, some 61% of the population are fairly certain that covid-19 will change our way of life.

The author(s)

  • Vicente Castellanos Country Service Line Leader, Public Affairs, Spain

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