Connor McCallum

Study Shows That We See Social Distancing as a Competition

(Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash)

According to a major survey, Americans are saying they are excellent at social distancing – but are quick to judge how their neighbors are doing.

 

The advent of the coronavirus might have put us on hold from socializing with our neighbors, but it has not stopped us from judging them.

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently ran a survey on more than 1,000 adults living in the United States, asking them about their experiences with the coronavirus and social distancing.

Of those surveyed, over half gave themselves a grade of “A” for excellent when it came to following social-distancing guidelines, while only 35% handed out the same grade to their neighbors. About a quarter of the respondents gave their neighbors a grade of “C” or lower (“average,” “poor,” or “failing”), in contrast to 11% who were honest enough to grade themselves as such.

The majority of respondents also believe they’re a little better than the people they live with when it comes to following the guidelines in place; while 90% graded themselves as “excellent” or “good,” only 83% bestowed the same grades upon the others in their households.

 

The advent of the coronavirus might have put us on hold from socializing with our neighbors, but it has not stopped us from judging them.

 

84% claimed their lives had been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. Even so, 80% felt that the social-distancing and stay-at-home guidelines are imperative in preventing the further spread of the virus. On the other end of the spectrum, 19% say the strict measures in place are placing unnecessary burdens on citizens and the economy alike, causing more harm than good.

It is interesting to note that the survey, conducted in both the months of March and April, has recorded an increase in respondents believing “the worst is behind us,” especially among Republicans—66% believed the “the worst is yet to come” in March, but the second iteration of the survey in April saw the number drop to 27%.

The increase is not as large across Independents and Democrats, which leads one to wonder how much of the partisan divide reflects the mixed messages touted from governors, President Trump, and health officials?

 

*

Top