[Public opinion poll] More than 73 percent of the respondents believe that those who violate the COVID-19 measures should be punished!

Foto: STA

In addition to the irresponsible behaviour of certain individuals who continue to behave recklessly, we can also observe the anti-government protesters gathering in Ljubljana every single Friday, even though mass gatherings have been prohibited due to the growing number of infections with the novel coronavirus. Given that nothing changed this Friday either, many are wondering how it is possible for some to consider themselves to be that much more important than others, that they dare behave so irresponsibly and thus endanger public health. Judging by the results of a public opinion poll conducted by the Parsifal agency for Nova24TV, most people do not share the opinion of the representatives of the irresponsible minority, who believe that the measures which are being implemented for the good of us all can be violated.

When asked whether the people who violate the measures, implemented with the intention of curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, should be consistently punished, almost half of the respondents (47.0 percent) said they believe that those who violate the regulations for limiting the spread of COVID-19 should be consistently punished. However, 26.1 percent of the respondents believe that most people should be punished, but there are some exceptions, and only 24,7 percent of the respondents believe that the people who violate the measures do not need to be punished.

Women are more in favour of consistent punishment
When it comes to gender, women (52,2 percent of female respondents) are the ones who strongly support the idea that those who violate the measures implemented to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus should be punished consistently. And when it comes to men, only 41.8 percent believe that consistent punishment is necessary in the case of violations. Compared to women, there is a higher share of the men (31.3 percent) who believe that violators should be punished, but with a few exceptions. The age group of 55 and over is the one which has the highest share of people who believe that violators should be punished consistently, and the youngest age group, from 18 to 34 years, is the least in favour of consistent punishment.
Based on the level of education, those who have a basic level of education or less (65.6 percent of the respondents) are mostly in favour of consistent punishing. They are followed by the people with completed vocational or secondary education. Those with high education or higher are the least in favour of consistent punishment.

According to the infectiologist and intensive care specialist at the Infectious Diseases Clinic, dr. Tomaž Vovk, the situation is very dire, due to certain individuals’ non-compliance with the measures. The standard in the intensive care unit is 1.7 patients per doctor, but currently, those numbers are significantly higher – in fact, they are higher than ever; there has never been such a heavy workload, he said. The same goes for nurses, not just doctors. “It’s not just the numbers that matter; it’s the stories here. People are coming in, who are very sick.” Given that we recorded a record number of infections on Thursday – 834 new infections with 242 people hospitalized, it is up to each individual to think about their actions and take the measures implemented by the professionals to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, into account. Namely, everyone can do the most for their own health and for the health of their loved ones. The measures will only prove to be helpful when we realize that we can only turn the curve back down if we all work together.

Methodological sample of the poll:
The survey was conducted for Nova24TV by the Parsifal agency over the phone, between October 6th and October 8th. It included 808 respondents, of which 50.5 percent were women. The average age of the participants is 52 years, and the standard deviation is 17.1 years. The majority of the respondents are from the oldest age group (41.8 percent), a slightly smaller number of participants belong to the middle age group (35.9 percent), and the smallest number of respondents is from the youngest age group (22.3 percent). The majority of the respondents have completed high school (31.6 percent), followed by those with completed high education or higher (25.3 percent), 23.3 percent of respondents have finished vocational school, and 19.8 percent have either completed or have not completed primary school. The majority of the respondents currently reside in a small village or hamlet (51.4 percent), followed by those who live in the city (31.4 percent) or a smaller town (17.3 percent). Most of the respondents are from the central region (26.4 percent), followed by the Podravska and Savinjska region.

Nina Žoher