The Coronation of Austria: Part 14

Covid-19 “just a normal flu”? 16% still think it is

While the majority of the Austrian population considers the SARS-CoV-2 virus as more dangerous than the normal flu, 16% think otherwise. Views on this topic are associated with party choice and place of residence. For example, 30% of the voters of the right-wing Freedom Party, FPÖ, disagree that the virus causing Covid-19 is more dangerous than a regular flu; only 36% agree. Agreement is highest among voters of the two coalition parties — the Austrian People’s Party, ÖVP, and the Green Party — as well as the liberal party, NEOS. In terms of place of residence, Vienna has the highest proportion of residents that agree with the statement that SARS-CoV-2 is more dangerous, while the Southern Land of Carinthia has the lowest (followed closely by a number of other Länder). Unsurprisingly, respondents who do not consider the SARS-CoV-2 virus to be more dangerous than the flu are also less willing to adapt their lifestyles to contain the pandemic.

With a little help from my friends…?

During the first lockdown in March and April 2020, roughly 90% of our respondents said they never went out to see friends or relatives. By September 2020 — just before the second lockdown — only 16% had no social contacts in their personal lives; 84% were socially active. In January 2021, despite restrictions on movement being almost as strict as during the first lockdown, and kindergartens and schools offering only very limited services, only 49% said that they never went out to see friends and relatives.

[image: Margarethe Prainsack]



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Barbara Prainsack

Barbara Prainsack

I'm interested in all things bioscience, medicine & society. For more on our solidarity work, see