• Thursday, Aug 05, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:52 am

Coronavirus boosts community spirit and nationalism

  • Published at 04:45 pm June 11th, 2020
National Guard soldiers
National Guard soldiers walk in a group outside of the Hammonton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare one of numerous nursing homes to have staffing shortages during the national outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Hammonton, New Jersey, US, May 19, 2020. Picture taken May 19, 2020 Reuters

The number of people who said they were strongly involved in their communities has risen by 10% in Italy, 9% in the United States, Britain and Netherlands, and 6% in South Korea

The coronavirus pandemic is boosting both nationalism and community spirit, unleashing shifts in attitudes that would usually takes years to trickle down, according to a survey released on Thursday.

The survey of six nations from across the globe reveals that Covid-19 has also prompted more people to want to work for organizations committed to social improvement, researchers said.

"People are more and more aware of what's happening in their community, and also becoming more critical about it," Martijn Lampert, co-founder of Dutch research agency Glocalities, said.

"There's a lot of opportunity now for change because in times of crisis, things become more fluid, and changes can happen much faster." he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The Covid trends report is based on two surveys of attitudes among 4,271 people in six countries, the first taken before the crisis and the second when much of the world was in lockdown.

The number of people who said they were strongly involved in their communities has risen by 10% in Italy, 9% in the United States, Britain and Netherlands, and 6% in South Korea, while remaining stable in Brazil.

"It's a strong trend. Normally you'd see such changes over multiple years," Lampert said.

Faced with a common health threat and separated from wider society by a global lockdown, people have focused more on their immediate networks and those close to them, he said.

"People want to contribute and are more interested in social improvement. They're becoming a bit less selfish," he added.

However, the survey showed the pandemic had led to a "shrinking" of lives and a more inward focus, exacerbating a trend towards nationalism that was evident pre-crisis.

Mistrust of others had grown and tolerance for different philosophies had fallen. Trust in national governments had gone up, while people had lost faith in international organizations.

But Lampert said declining openness and internationalism had prompted pushback from those who are more global or egalitarian in outlook - "creating fertile ground" for social activist movements like Black Lives Matter.

"You see declining tolerance and a shrinking world on the one hand, and on the other you see a reaction against that."

The survey was conducted before the explosion of racial justice protests around the world triggered by the death of George Floyd while restrained by police in Minneapolis.

The findings also showed a greater trust in science.

"After a prolonged period of public criticism of experts and the promotion of 'alternative facts', science - and education in general - is making a comeback because our lives depend on it," Lampert said. "We're in an age that requires more transparency and truthfulness."

Two in five respondents in Brazil and a third in the United States thought their governments had been untruthful about the pandemic.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail