What Do Young People Think about Social Distancing during the Corona Crisis in Germany?

Posted: 26 Mar 2020

Date Written: March 25, 2020

Abstract

In a survey among 250 subjects recruited at a German university and predominantly university students, we elicit opinions about social distancing, i.e. the necessity to keep away from other people to slow down the speed of the ongoing SARS-CoV2 epidemics. The good news is that most students are supportive to it. A minority, however, does not completely agree. We find that how many elderly persons subjects knew personally, was the most significant factor for their attitudes towards social distancing. We also found a significant negative impact of believe in conspiracy theories on these attitudes. These theories have a low, but non-negligible number of proponents, even among university students. Moreover, a certain degree of mistrust to media is widespread (around a third of the subjects).

To improve positive attitudes to social distancing and thus to improve compliance we recommend therefore to emphasize relations of persons to elderly people more and to continue fighting against fake news and conspiracy theories regarding SARS-CoV2.

Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-CoV2, social distancing

Suggested Citation

Rieger, Marc Oliver, What Do Young People Think about Social Distancing during the Corona Crisis in Germany? (March 25, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3561366

Marc Oliver Rieger (Contact Author)

University of Trier ( email )

15, Universitaetsring
Trier, 54286
Germany

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