Do people have enough information about COVID-19 in Georgia?
Note: This article was first published on the Caucasus Data Blog, a joint effort of CRRC Georgia and OC Media. The article was written by Tsisana Khundadze, a Senior Researcher at CRRC Georgia. The views expressed in the article are the author’s alone, and do not reflect the views of CRRC Georgia, the National Democratic Institute, or any related entity.
Since the pandemic hit Georgia in February, the Georgian government has taken several measures to raise awareness about it. But are the public actually well informed?
Since March 2020, the Georgian Government has been conducting large scale information campaigns through traditional and online media, has launched an informational web portal, StopCov.ge, and has even launched a smartphone app providing information about contact with infected people.
In light of these communications, it is perhaps unsurprising that data from the CRRC-NDI December 2020 survey shows that a majority of Georgia’s population says they have enough information about the services they might need in relation to COVID-19. However, men and those less well off are less likely to know how to access services.
The survey asked respondents if they knew where to get a COVID-19 test, how to get medical assistance, and how to treat COVID-19 at home.
People were most informed about how to get the medical assistance. Around four in five said if they or a family member needed it, they would know how to treat COVID-19 at home.
A smaller proportion, though still a majority, reported knowing where to get a free or affordable test for COVID-19. Even so, almost a third of Georgia’s population does not know where to get a test and one in five reports not knowing how to treat COVID-19 at home.
Even though this knowledge is self-reported, it is still important to pay attention to what people feel less informed about as well as who feels less informed.
A regression model suggests that even though the vast majority knows how to get medical assistance, women, people aged 18–34, and people with tertiary education are slightly more likely to say they know how to get medical assistance than men, people who are 55 or older and people with secondary or lower education.
The more durable goods a person owns (a proxy for wealth), the more likely that person is to say that they know how to get medical assistance. No differences were observed between people in different settlement types or employment statuses.
The regression model also shows that women and people with tertiary education are more likely to know how to treat COVID-19 at home than men and people with secondary technical, secondary, or lower education.
The wealthier a person is, the more likely that person is to say that they know how to treat COVID-19 at home. There were no significant differences between people of different ages, settlement types, or employment statuses.
As for knowledge of where to get a COVID-19 test, the regression model suggests that women are more likely than men to say they know where to get a free or affordable test.
People with tertiary education were 1.3 times more likely to say they know where to get a test compared to people with secondary or lower education.
Employed people were more likely to say they knew where to get a free or affordable COVID-19 test than people who were not working. As in the case of knowing how to get medical assistance and treat COVID-19 at home, the more household items a person owns, the more likely that person is to say that they know where to get the test.
Again, there were no differences between people in different age groups or settlement types.
The December 2020 survey data shows that a majority of Georgia’s population reports knowing where to get a COVID-19 test, how to get medical assistance, and how to treat COVID-19 at home.
People appear least informed about where to get a test done.
Women and people with better economic situations consistently reported knowing the above mentioned more often than men and people with worse economic situations.
For more data on people’s attitudes towards COVID-19 related issues, see the dataset on CRRC’s online data analysis tool.
[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the second blog post in the series. Click here to see the first blog post.]
The findings reflect broader global trends which have seen dramatic decreases in air pollution levels in China, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
Facebook is an important part of Georgian politics. Political campaigns are fought, and public opinion thought to often be formed on the platform...
As Easter celebrations approach in Georgia, a study by CRRC Georgia suggests that a large number of Georgia’s Orthodox Christians still intend to celebrate at Church. The survey of Facebook users found that around 40% of people who usually celebrate Easter in Church intended to do so again this year despite the pandemic.
Without trust in the messages of public health officials, measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus are less likely to be complied with, exacerbating the spread of the virus.
Many experts believe that to fully remove the restrictions which have emerged because of the COVID-19 crisis, a vaccine is needed. While vaccines are only expected in the medium term, if and when they are available, Georgia may face large challenges with implementing a large scale vaccination program.
The COVID-19 outbreak generated discussion about whether support for democracy would decline during and after the crisis. While reported support increased, this did not necessarily match support for democratic means of governance.
Data from the CRRC’s COVID-19 monitor shows that more people in Georgia reported support for democracy compared to the pre-crisis period. However, as before the crisis, support for democracy does not seem to be grounded in the values commonly associated with democratic governance.
In times of crisis, support for governments often rises in what is known as a rallying around the flag effect. The COVID-19 crisis in Georgia has been no exception.
Data from around the world has shown rallying around the flag effects in many countries during the pandemic, with a few exceptions. Georgia has followed this broader pattern, with performance ratings tripling for many actors and institutions between November/December 2019 and May 2020.
As the number of new daily confirmed cases is again on the rise, we look at how people felt about the anti-coronavirus restrictions in May.
Aside from the public health situation, COVID-19 has led to rising unemployment, reduced incomes, and food insecurity in Georgia. As the number of new daily confirmed cases is again on the rise, the Caucasus Datablog takes a look at how people felt about the anti-coronavirus restrictions when they were at their height.
Georgia has postponed the reopening of schools in major cities due to a new surge in the pandemic, but what are the biggest concerns Georgians have with the education system?
Georgia’s new academic year started on 15 September, but physical attendance at schools and universities in major cities has been postponed until 1 October.
An NDI and CRRC survey conducted in June 2020 asked questions about people’s beliefs about the origins and spread of coronavirus. The data suggest that while a majority of the population does not believe in common disinformation messages such as a relation between 5G technology and the spread of the coronavirus, only a small portion thinks that coronavirus came about naturally.
In Georgia, it would appear that informing people that others are acting responsibly in the pandemic could in fact lead to the opposite behaviour.
Communications have been critical to attempts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 globally, and it is unclear what the best strategy for doing so might be. In Georgia, it would appear that informing people that others are acting responsibly in the pandemic could in fact lead to the opposite behaviour.
The pandemic has clearly harmed people’s health, yet new data from the Caucasus Barometer Survey suggests that people considered themselves more healthy in 2020.
In 2019, 35% of the public evaluated their health as good. In past years, this had shifted up and down to varying extents, however, the largest change was a decline from 41% to 30% between 2013 and 2014.
In contrast, between 2019 and 2020, the share of people reporting that they were in good health nearly doubled from 35% to 65%.
Prior to the most recent episode in Georgia's political crises, COVID-19 was the country's main concern. Yet, data on how the public views the country's handling of the crisis shows a stark partisan divide.
It has been a year since the first case of coronavirus was detected in Georgia. Since then, over 260,000 cases have been confirmed, over 3,300 fatalities, and the economy has suffered the largest decline since 1994. In light of this, how does the Georgian public assess the country’s handling of the pandemic?
Data from the 2020 Caucasus Barometer survey offers a snapshot of how well people think the country did in dealing with the outbreak.
With the pandemic still raging and accompanying economic restrictions still in force, Georgians are unsurprisingly pessimistic about their economic future. This holds true especially for supporters of the opposition United National Movement Party, above all other party supporters.
COVID-19 restrictions have impacted people’s economic activity heavily. This is reflected in key economic indicators such as GDP, which declined by 5.9% year on year between January and November 2020.
It is also reflected in employment, with fewer people reporting starting new jobs and more people reporting having lost one, according to the 2020 Caucasus Barometer.