New government motivates 1 in 2 to follow coronavirus measures again
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New government motivates 1 in 2 to follow coronavirus measures again

Credit: Belga

Almost half (49.5%) of people in Flanders are motivated to follow Belgium’s coronavirus measures again, mainly due to the new government’s approach, research conducted by the University of Ghent shows.

At the start of the epidemic in March, 81% of respondents were motivated to follow the measures. By mid-July, the percentage had dropped to 69%, to 35% in mid-August, and even further to 22.2% after the summer.

After the sudden announcement of new measures by new Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke at the start of October, however, the percentage of motivated people went up to almost 50% of more than 75,000 respondents.

“Things are indeed going better,” motivation psychologist Maarten Vansteenkiste of the University of Ghent said on Flemish radio.

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“Since the first press conference of the new government, motivation has been on the rise again,” he said, adding that the new government brought “a motivational message.”

Additionally, this was the first that that people’s motivation was boosted despite the introduction of stricter measures, according to Vansteenkiste.

One of the main reasons for this was that people had the feeling that the measures were in line with the seriousness of the situation, said Vansteenkiste.

However, the new way of communicating also played a part. “New people, a more refreshing way of communicating, that can certainly play a role,” he said.

“They were also clearly empathetic, recognising that there would be a difficult period ahead,” said Vansteenkiste, adding that the way of communicating was also clear, in contrast to the previous government’s approach.

Vansteenkiste expects motivation to improve even further when the coronavirus barometer will be launched. “People will then be able to follow where we are in the epidemic, perhaps anticipate and take responsibility themselves,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times