For the vast majority of Romanians, the Coronavirus epidemic means a radical change in lifestyle, perceptions of life in general, and a reconsideration of personal values.

We highlight the impact of the Coronavirus epidemic in Romania and the attitudes of the population related to these changes

Social distancing

The limitation of the possibility of free movement is felt by 69% of Romanians, and has led to the change of personal (44%) and professional (18%) plans, especially those related to travel.

Daily habits

Almost all Romanians (98%) changed their daily habits in response to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). During this period, 82% wash their hands and disinfect more often, and 75% avoid public spaces, going out only for strict necessity. Moreover, 46% of people take extra precautions, choosing to wear a mask and gloves when they leave the house.

Buying habits

Behavioral changes are also reflected in buying habits, almost half of Romanians choosing to reduce spending to a minimum (49%), thinking twice before making an expense (42%). In addition, 30% shop online these days, more than they did before the Coronavirus outbreak. About 1 in 4 people provided food supplies and other basic products for this period.

Personal values

The Coronavirus epidemic also has a positive impact, in the sense that more Romanians show more concern for their friends and family (37%) or spend more time with children (25%).

Working from home

For more than half (56%) of Romanians who have a job, working from home is not possible because of the specific work they do. After the outbreak of COVID-19, 34% of the employees adapted their way of working, choosing to work from home, either partially (22%) or in full (12%). To these are added another 9%, who used to work from home before the outbreak.

Economic impact

Three weeks after the restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak, almost 1 in 4 people have already suffered a reduction in incomes. Moreover, 19% of the active population entered a risky situation during this period, following their temporary suspension of the employment contract (8%), the entry into technical unemployment (7%) or even losing their job (4%).

Confidence in authorities

Romanians have an average level of confidence related to how the government is handling the Coronavirus epidemic in Romania (3.84 points out of the maximum 7 possible).

Sociological perspective on the research

From our analyzes, social distance is understood, respected and strongly encouraged by Romanians. However, people are aware of the impact on human relationships, and radical change in routine leads to a state of confusion and shock for them.

The longing for children left behind with grandparents, the impossibility of visiting family members, friends or partners is painful, but it is recognized as a beneficial thing to get through as quickly and with as little damage as possible over this period.

Awareness of the coming economic crisis causes individuals to question financial stability and to give up the little pampering that many were accustomed to (going to the mall, to the salon, to city breaks or vacations). Priority now becomes daily living, with its needs.

The importance of the present occupies first place in the list of priorities, time spent with the family and the close ones, their health and well-being being the most valuable things.

While women tend to focus more on the importance of human relationships and call for solidarity and faith, men state a negative political-economic outlook, focusing on the certainty of a dark future, with many gaps. They are also adepts of conspiracy theories regarding the outbreak of the epidemic and the predicted economic crisis.

When it comes to the authorities’ attitude towards this unusual situation, when the questionnaire was applied, most of the respondents were of the opinion that the rules could be more drastic, to be as effective as possible. The fines for those who violate the rules should be tougher and the recommendations of the authorities imposed more strictly.

We are convinced that this kind of understanding of the impact of social distance will leave traces in the collective mind and in the consumer society, as we know it. And our role, as researchers, is to reflect these changes as best we can, so that authorities, companies and people can make informed decisions for the future. — said Corina Cimpoca, founder of MKOR Consulting.

About the study “Impact of the CoronaVirus Epidemic on Romanians’ Life”

corona-virus-impact-romania-report

The study was conducted between March 26-28, 2020, on a sample of 1621 respondents, nationally representative on gender, age (18+) and geographical distribution. 95% confidence level, maximum error +/- 2.4%.

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