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IN in many German cities, people continue to wear masks, but no longer seem to comply with the distance limit of at least 1.5 meters. Is that so? Yes, says social psychologist Rolf van Dick in an interview with SPIEGEL magazine, quoted by Deutsche Welle.
“We conducted a study all over Germany, which came to these conclusions. We asked a thousand people if they make an effort to avoid social contacts, to keep a meter and a half away from other people and to wash their hands often, as recommended by the WHO. We conducted the first survey 6 weeks ago, and a month later we asked the same questions to the same thousand participants. For all questions, we registered a drop in approval of the measures. In other words, people are becoming more careless. And personally, that worries me, “he said.
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People think that masks protect them
According to Rolf van Dick, one possible explanation for this is that with masks, people feel sufficiently protected – they feel more protected than they actually protect the masks. Therefore, they ignore other precautions and tools that may be even more effective. “Even when there was a debate in Germany about masks, virologists and epidemiologists warned about this effect,” he said.
Compared to other countries, the epidemic in Germany is relatively mild.
Even easier than expected. The health system is not overloaded. Does this explain the changed behavior of people? “It’s possible, but we haven’t studied such a relationship,” says the psychologist.
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“We have such intentions, but we can already say the following: people in areas at increased risk of infection or those living with the elderly or those with concomitant diseases are significantly more disciplined and adhere to the restrictions – including after their loosening. . Our research shows that one third of Germans fall into this category, “he explained.
The measures have a bad effect on the psyche
Virologists warn of an expected second wave of the epidemic, due to which measures may be tightened again. Will the Germans accept the re-imposition of strict restrictions? “It depends on how things go,” says Rolf van Dick, adding: “People know that a temporary hospital is being built in Berlin, for example, they read that intensive care beds are being kept. If this continues, it will be difficult for people to be convinced that restrictions on going out and contacting other people need to be reintroduced.
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Another important aspect will be medical progress: so far we have neither a drug against Kovid-19, nor a vaccine or an effective mobile application for tracking contact persons. But the moment one of these things is worked out, it will be pointless to impose new exit bans. Because the measures have a negative impact not only on the economy, but also on our mental health, as well as on the propensity for domestic violence in some people. And all this means: people are dissatisfied with the restrictions not only because they want to meet other people, but also because they affect them badly.