People’s Opinion on Lockdown Due to COVID-19 – Research Paper

Abstract

The study aimed at determining the percentage of people who would want the lockdown to continue. A sample of 55 participants was purposefully selected to respond to questions on whether to continue with the current state of affairs or to end the lockdown. Approximately 40% of the participants were undecided on the question of whether to end the lockdown or not.  However, at a 90% level of significance, there was an association between age group and the continuation of the lockdown. People whose age lies between 36 – 64 reported that they would want the lockdown to continue. Further, the majority of the participants do not enjoy the lockdown, which as resulted from the threat of COVID-19.

Introduction

The global health sector had not predicted any situation which would bring the world economies to their knees. The unthinkable was witnessed after a new strain of coronavirus, now referred to as COVID-19, a short form of coronavirus 2019 ravaged the global countries (WHO 2020; Cennimo 2020). The virus has resulted in severe outbreaks that saw the World Health Organization (WHO 2020) declare the COVID-19 outbreak an international global health issue. The virus started as severe respiratory disease in China and quickly became a global pandemic with significant consequences that were unexpected in the modern age. The virus was associated with an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The virus was suspected to be of zoonotic origin.  In less than three months, more than 100 000 cases and thousands of deaths were associated with the virus (BBC 2020; McKeever 2020). The number of people contracting the virus rose and continue to rise until the time of writing this paper.

Countries that did not take drastic lockdown measures paid the price by a high number of deaths. For example, Italy and the United States. Lockdown as a method of curbing the virus seemed to work for countries that took the bold step (Reynolds 2020). For instance, India has the second-largest population in the world recorded the lowest number of cases and deaths compared to its counterparts (in terms of population) such as China and the United States (Zimmermann 2020).

Research Rationale

The current most effective way of preventing the virus from ravaging the population is through handwashing and keeping social distance. These two methods are best achieved under lockdown. Therefore, a study on the enjoyment and whether to continue the lockdown is of relevance to decision-makers.

Research Questions

  1. What percentage of people enjoy lockdown?
  2. What percentage works at home?
  3. What percentage would like the lockdown to continue?
  4. Is there an association between age group, gender, and the enjoyment of lockdown, working at home, and the continuation of lockdown?
Peoples Opinion on Lockdown Due to COVID-19
Peoples Opinion on Lockdown Due to COVID-19

Literature Review

The human race has experienced various pandemics throughout its history. The level of destruction has varied with the latest virus taking the modern global economy to a standstill for months. Some o the challenges are human-made, for example, the two World Wars, while others are invisible enemies such as the novel coronavirus 2019. Initially, the virus was observed in the Wuhan province of China, but due to efficient transport networks, the virus has spread to almost every corner of the world (Rawlinson 2020). As of 31st May 2020, there are 6,161,851 Coronavirus cases, with 371,023 deaths, while 2,738,407 has recovered (WHO 2020; AFP 2020). The table 1 shows the situation per region of the world as of 31st May 2020. The table 1  shows the  situation per region of the world as of 31st May 2020 (WHO 2020).

Table 1: Situation in numbers by WHO Region
Region Cases Deaths
Globally 5,817,385 362,705
Americas 2,677,500 154,608
Europe 2,122,350 179,353
South-East Asia 249,525 7,157
Western Pacific 180,446 7,014
Africa 96,902 2,482

source: (WHO 2020)

From figure 1, the Americas have the highest number of cases and deaths, while Africa has the lowest number of cases and deaths. Countries are racing to slow the spread of the virus by testing and treating patients, carrying out contact tracing, limiting travel, quarantining citizens, and canceling large gatherings such as sporting events, concerts, and schools (Mburu and Boum 2020). The pandemic is moving like a wave—one that may yet crash on those least able to cope. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes, and how it spreads (Cossarizza et al. 202; Adhikari et al. 2020). Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face.

Methodology

Research Technique

The main objective of this study was to determine the percentage of the population in favor of lockdown. Therefore, the method chosen to explore this question was the quantitative research method. The quantitative method gives raw counts that can be used to calculate percentages. The percentage makes more sense to the general public than raw counts (Jeremy 2019). Therefore, quantitative research methods were deemed appropriate for this study.

 

Sampling Procedures

The sampling techniques used were purposeful technique. The participants chosen for this stud are people who were within reach of the researcher. The research was small scale with no funding; therefore, to reduce the chances of rejection, the researcher approached people well known to them or from referrals. Therefore, the samples might have the potential to be biased.

 

Research Process

The first step involved developing a questionnaire that contained five short self answered questions. The participants were approached and requested to take part in the study by filling the questionnaire. The questionnaire was completed in the presence of the researcher to reduce the chances of non-response. However, the participants had the right to decline from participating or withdraw from the study at any point without any consequences. The filled questionnaires were then checked for completeness and coded into IMB SPSS version 25. A descriptive analysis was performed on the data collected.

 

Ethical Considerations

The participants were requested to participate in the study by filling a consent form before responding to the questionnaire. The participants’ confidential information that can be used to identify them was not collected. Further, the participants were assured of the confidentiality of the information they provided. The participants also had the right to call the researcher and direct them not to use the data they provided. Finally, the research was approved by the university before contacting the participants. The researcher only performed the analysis of the data without any manipulation of the data given by the participants.

 

Results

Frequency Distributions of the Variables

Table 2: Frequency Distribution Table for Gender
Gender Frequency Percentage
Female 30 54.5%
Male 25 45.5%
Total 55 100.0%

 

From table 2, females form 54.5% (30), and males form 45.5% of the participants. The sample is representative.

Table 3: Frequency Distribution Table for Enjoying Lockdown
Enjoying Lockdown Frequency Percentage
No 40 72.7%
Yes 15 27.3%
Total 55 100.0%

 

The majority of the participants do not enjoy lockdown representing 72.7% (40), while only 27.3% (15) enjoy the current state of lockdown (Jeremy 2020).

Table 4: Frequency Distribution Table for Working at Home
Working at Home Frequency Percentage
No 10 18.2%
Yes 45 81.8%
Total 55 100.0%

 

From table 4, the majority of the people were working at home, representing approximately 81.2% (45), while only 18.2% (10) do not work at home.

Table 5: Frequency Distribution Table for Continuation of Lockdown
Continuation of Lockdown Frequency Percentage
Strongly Disagree 1 1.8%
Disagree 14 25.5%
Neutral 23 41.8%
Agree 12 21.8%
Strongly Agree 5 9.1%
Total 55 100.0%

 

The people seem to be neutral on whether to continue with the lockdown or not, as those neutral represent 41.8% (23). However, 25.5% (14) disagreed with the idea of continuing with the lockdown, and 1.8% (1) strongly wants the lockdown to end. Further, 21.8% (12) agreed for the lockdown to continue, while 9.1% (5) have a strong feeling that the current lockdown should continue.

Table 6: Frequency Distribution Table for Age Group
Continuation of Lockdown Frequency Percentage
0 – 35 years 21 38.2%
36 – 64 years 27 49.1%
65 and above 7 12.7%
Total 55 100.0%

 

The majority of the participants are aged between 36 – 64 years (49.2%), and 38.2% were aged 35 years and below. However, 12.7% were aged 65 years and above.

Table 7: Descriptive Statistics for Age
Statistic Value
Mean 42.40
Median 42.00
Std. Deviation 15.868
Range 57

The average age of the participants is 42 years, with a standard deviation of 15 years. The middle-age is 42 years, and the difference between the oldest and the youngest participants is 57 years.

Crosstabulation and Test of Association

Table 8: Crosstab of Enjoying Lockdown and Gender
Female Male Total
Enjoying Lockdown No (23) 76.7% (17) 68.0% (40) 72.7%
Yes (7) 23.3% (8) 32.0% (15) 27.3%
                                  Total (30) 100.0% (25) 100.0% (55) 100.0%

The counts are in brackets (). From table 8, more than 76% of the female does not enjoy the lockdown while 23.3% enjoy. Similarly, 68.0% percent of males do not enjoy the lockdown, with only 32.0% enjoying the current state (Kent State university 2018; Oxford Academic 2020). However, there is no significant association between enjoying lockdown and gender .

Table 9: Crosstab of Working at Home and Gender
Female Male Total
Working at Home No (7) 23.3% (3) 12.0% (10) 18.2%
Yes (23) 76.7% (22) 88.0% (45) 81.8%
                                  Total (30) 100.0% (25) 100.0% (55) 100.0%

More than 76% of the female work at home, while 23.3% do not. Similarly, 88.0% percent of male work at home with only 12.0% not working at home. There is no significant association between working at home and gender .

Table 10: Crosstab of Continuation of Lockdown and Gender
Female Male Total
 

Lockdown to Continue

Strongly Disagree (1) 3.3% (0) 0.0% (1) 1.8%
Disagree (9) 30.0% (5) 20.0% (14) 25.5%
Neutral (12) 40.0% (11) 44.0% (23) 41.8%
Agree (5) 16.7% (7) 28.0% (12) 21.8%
Strongly Agree (3) 10.0% (2) 8.0% (5) 9.1%
                                   Total (30) 100.0% (25) 100.0% (55)100.0%

From table 10, the majority of males and females are not decided on whether to continue lockdown or not. However, the table reveals that both sexes want the lockdown to end. In terms of association, there is no association between the desire to end the lockdown and gender (.

Table 11: Crosstab of Continuation of Lockdown and Age Group
0 – 35 years 36 – 64 years 65 and above Totals
Lockdown to Continue Strongly Disagree (0) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (1) 14.3% (1)1.8%
Disagree (7) 33.3% (6) 22.2% (1) 14.3% (14) 25.5%
Neutral (11) 52.4% (9) 33.3% (3) 42.9% (23) 41.8%
Agree (1) 4.8% (10) 37.0% (1) 14.3% (5) 21.8%
Strongly Agree (2) 9.5% (2) 7.4% (1) 14.3% (5) 9.1%
Total (21) 100.0% (27) 100.0% (7) 100.0% (55) 100.0%
(.

At 90% level of significance, there exists an association between the continuation of lockdown and age group (.

 

Discussion

The current global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the normal life of the majority of people around the world. Data was collected from people believed to be affected by the virus, and the results are consistent with the estimates presented in the news bulleting (Zimmermann and Curtis 2020). The majority of the people are not happy with the governments to move to lockdown cities or entire towns (for instance, India). However, there those who still enjoy the lockdown because of the reasons beyond the scope of this study. However, from literature, those who enjoy lockdown are those who missed working from home (Reynolds 2020). The idea of working from home was a dream for most countries; however, with the virus majority of countries encourage their citizens to embrace working from home as a way of minimizing interaction among the population.

The study showed that the majority of people are working from home to avoid contracting the virus or as a directive from their companies. However, some do not work from home. These may be people working in essential service sectors, for example, doctors, and people in the commodity transit sector.  These people do not have an alternative to working from home.  Further, there are slight variations (though not significant) among males and females in terms of those working at home and enjoying the lockdown. Females tend not to enjoy the lockdown than males, a result which is contrary to the literature, which indicated that the majority of the men do not enjoy staying at home.

People are anxious about what tomorrow will bring with the current state of lockdown. Yet, a significant percentage of the people feel the lockdown should continue. However, the majority of the people do not have a decision on whether to continue with the current state of a lockdown or end the lockdown. Females want the lockdown to end as soon as possible compared to males. Further, the majority of people whose age lies between 35 – 64 years would like the lockdown to continue while the remaining age groups are neutral on the direction the lockdown should take. The observed association between the continuation of lockdown and age group point to the institution that there exists a difference in ideas between the age groups.

 

Conclusion

The study showed that majority of the population work at home and are not enjoying the current state of lockdown. However, the decision to end or continue the lockdown seemed difficult for the people to make since the majority are neutral. That is, they are not for the idea to stop the lockdown or to continue with the lockdown. Therefore, more data would be needed to make a clear distinction on whether to continue or end the lockdown.

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