A nationwide survey, which was conducted at the peak of the Covid pandemic shows that 40% of Americans lied about their covid status and/or ignored many safety precautions.
The survey polled 1,700 people, and of those polled 721 respondents had either lied about their COVID status or didn’t follow CDC recommendations.
The most common reasons for the lack of transparency were that people wanted to feel normal or to exercise personal freedom.
The most common response for people either lying about the test or choosing not to follow guideless is that they wanted to go back to normal or they were exercising their right to freedom.
“COVID-19 safety measures can certainly be burdensome, but they work,” said co-author Andrea Gurmankin Levy, who is a professor of social sciences at Middlesex Community College in Connecticut.
“When people are dishonest about their COVID-19 status or what precautions they are taking, it can increase the spread of disease in their community,” Levy said in the release. “For some people, particularly before we had COVID vaccines, that can mean death.”
Another of the study’s Angela Fagerlin, who is head of population health sciences at University of Utah Health, said the survey has dredged up some concerns about people’s reluctance to report their health status and also their acceptable of prolonging the pandemic as opposed to wearing a mask, social distancing and other public health measures.
“Some individuals may think if they fib about their COVID-19 status once or twice, it’s not a big deal,” Fagerlin said in a news release. “But if, as our study suggests, nearly half of us are doing it, that’s a significant problem that contributes to prolonging the pandemic.”
A desire to return to normal was the most frequent response, however other responses included concerns about missing work, not feeling sick, doing their own research and also believing that their choices are no-one else’s business.
Alistair Thorpe, who is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Utah Health and also an author of this study, said that the results would be helpful in understanding people’s mindset should there be another wave.
“This study goes a long way toward showing us what concerns people have about the public health measures implemented in response to the pandemic and how likely they are to be honest in the face of a global crisis. Knowing that will help us better prepare for the next wave of worldwide illness,” Thorpe said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNN
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