▷ Majority of Germans fear: there will be no end to the pandemic without vaccination


31.01.2022 – 09:05

R+V Infocenter

Wiesbaden (ots)

What comes after Omicron? More than every second German is afraid that there will always be new corona waves until everyone is vaccinated. At the same time, trust in the work of politicians is rather low. Surprisingly, there is more economic optimism again. This is shown by a special survey for the R+V study “The Fears of the Germans” in January.

Third special survey on corona fears

Every summer for 30 years, the information center of R+V Versicherung has been examining the concerns of German citizens with regard to politics, the economy, the environment and health with the long-term study “The Fears of the Germans”. During the pandemic, R+V has now added a special survey on fears of corona to its study for the third time. For the representative online survey among 1,083 citizens, four topics were selected from the standard survey that are of great importance in the pandemic. A new question has recently been added. “In the second winter of the pandemic, we were interested in: Are the Germans afraid of endless corona loops without consistent vaccination protection?” says Grischa Brower-Rabinowitsch, Head of Internal and External Communications at R+V. “Vaccination is a controversial topic, which can also be seen in the debates in the Bundestag. We wanted to know what the current mood among the population is.”

Fear of new corona waves

The result: New virus variants and a sharp increase in the number of infections do not leave the Germans cold. More than half of those surveyed (55 percent) fear that there will always be new corona waves until everyone is vaccinated. This is the highest value in the current special survey. Even in the interim survey a year ago, the majority of Germans were afraid that the pandemic would not end without vaccination. At that time, almost 60 percent feared that there would be lockdowns again and again as a consequence. “The assessment that only vaccination can prevent further corona waves is very realistic,” says Professor Dr. Manfred G Schmidt. He is a political scientist at the Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg and has been supporting the R+V study for around two decades. “In view of the infection process in the past few months, a different judgment would be quite naïve.”

The fear of infection increases with the number of cases

The risk of infection also triggers fears. 43 percent of all respondents fear that the corona virus will affect them, their family or friends. In the standard survey in summer it was still 35 percent. “What is striking is that when the number of cases climbs to record levels, fears of infection also grow,” says Brower-Rabinowitsch. “In winter, this concern is much more pronounced than in summer.” In the interim survey a year ago, when the vaccine was still new, almost every second person (48 percent) was afraid of being infected. “This development worries me,” explains Prof. Schmidt. “I suspect that behind the lower numbers in the current survey there is a certain carelessness in view of the higher vaccination rate.”

Little trust in the work of politicians

Almost half of those surveyed (49 percent) fear that politicians are overwhelmed by their tasks. That is eight percentage points more than in the regular survey in July 2021. “This shows once again that the citizens are dissatisfied with the work of their politicians,” says Prof. Schmidt. The political scientist explains why the verdict of those surveyed is not even stricter in view of the high-profile corona protests and debates about compulsory vaccination: “Regardless of all the criticism, the vast majority of the population sees the policy of combating corona as necessary. The demonstrations are statements of minorities.”

Economy: Signs point to growth

The fear of a slump in the German economy is clearly decreasing. Only 38 percent of those surveyed (minus 21 percentage points) fear a recession. This is the biggest change compared to the interim survey in winter 2021. “In Germany there is economic optimism,” explains Prof. Schmidt. “This is based on the conviction that the economic downturn caused by the pandemic is over and that the signs are pointing to growth in 2022.”

The economic optimism is also fueled by an overall positive labor market balance. “The number of employees subject to social security contributions was 34.37 million in the third quarter of 2021, higher than ever before. The unemployment rate is almost back to the low level it was before the pandemic began,” says the political scientist. So it’s hardly surprising for him that just under every fifth person questioned (19 percent) fears losing their job. That is the least fear of the current special survey.

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Original content from: R+V Infocenter, transmitted by news aktuell


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