A Worldwide Assessment of COVID-19 Pandemic-Policy Fatigue

Paper by Anna Petherick et al: “As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, signs of “pandemic-policy fatigue” have raised worldwide concerns. But the phenomenon itself is yet to be thoroughly defined, documented, and delved into. Based on self-reported behaviours from samples of 238,797 respondents, representative of the populations of 14 countries, as well as global mobility and policy data, we systematically examine the prevalence and shape of people’s alleged gradual reduction in adherence to governments’ protective-behaviour policies against COVID-19. Our results show that from March through December 2020, pandemic-policy fatigue was empirically meaningful and geographically widespread. It emerged for high-cost and sensitising behaviours (physical distancing) but not for low-cost and habituating ones (mask wearing), and was less intense among retired people, people with chronic diseases, and in countries with high interpersonal trust. Particularly due to fatigue reversal patterns in high- and upper-middle-income countries, we observe an arch rather than a monotonic decline in global pandemic-policy fatigue….(More)”.