Belgians are once again losing their motivation to follow the rules in the face of measures related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Tuesday’s motivation barometer of the University of Ghent (UGent).
Only 25 to 35% remain fully convinced of the need for these measures. A “worrying situation”, according to the researchers, because similar figures in the past have proved to be the harbinger of an increase in infections, hospitalisations and deaths.
The motivation of the population only decreased between mid-January and last week, which is causing researchers to sound the alarm. “The situation is very different from the one after the first confinement, which led to a beautiful summer that brought some freedom,” they note.
During the second confinement, until mid-January, 50 to 67% of the population supported the measures. Welfare now seems to be under increasing pressure.
The perception of risk, which indicates how seriously people take the danger of the pandemic, has also fallen sharply.
Researchers are also castigating the decision to reopen the contact professions. This decision, “by which the government has abandoned its own epidemiological objectives, marks the beginning of the end”, they write in their report.
The decline nevertheless stopped over the weekend. However, the researchers warn that the time frame agreed by the consultation committee last week will not be enough to significantly increase the motivational base and call for a new approach to consolidate it.