SELF-PRESERVING BEHAVIOUR OF GEORGIAN POPULATION DURING THE PERIOD OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Keywords:COVID-19 pandemic, self-preserving behaviour, recommendations pertaining to defense against infection
The following papers deals with self-preserving behaviour in the period of a global problem — COVID-19 pandemic. Positive self-preserving behaviour determines the level of health of an individual and, consequently, of a society. In the period of the pandemic we have witnessed an increased interest toward self-preserving behaviour. Apart from observing private hygiene or hygiene norms and social distancing, there were no other protective mechanisms during the process of the research, and vaccination has not yet begun. As a result of the urgency of the issue, the staff s of Institute Demography and Sociology Ilia State University under the guidance of professor A. Sulaberidze have conducted a sociological research in October 2020, “Awareness of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the social-economic situation of Georgian population and self-preservative behaviour”, in four regions of Georgia. The regions were selected based on the level of the coronavirus’s proliferation. Respondents were selected using the method of random sampling. We interviewed 500 respondents with the help of pre-composed questionnaires. The following research is one of the attempts in Georgia to study self-preserving behaviour under the circumstances of the pandemic and it shows us to what extent the population’s self-preserving behaviour is directed toward defense against the coronavirus. One of the main functions of a state is to prevent the spread of diseases and protect its population from harmful influence of environmental factors. In this regard, the state has implemented significant measures; however, they are not sufficient as the joint efforts of the state and each citizen determine the robustness of a country’s population as well as the scope of a pandemic’s proliferation. Our goal is to evaluate the efforts of the citizens, as for our objectives, we aim to ascertain the factors which seem auspicious and adverse for the mentioned efforts. The analysis of the research’s results outlined important differences between genders with regard to evaluating one’s own health and self-preserving behaviour. The researchers had also shown that men value their health more highly and take care of it less. This tendency is immutable even when self-preserving behaviour significantly determines not only the possibility of one’s own infection, but also of those surrounding us. Women respondents are more prone to observe every recommendation of epidemiologists than men. The level of population’s awareness is high with respect to the symptoms of the infection as well as recommendations for self-protection and the existing infection situation in the country. The dissimilar levels of infection between various regions gave us varying indicators of awareness. The higher the infection rate, the higher the awareness rate. The respondents’ health condition significantly determines the population’s attitude toward the coronavirus infection. Self-assessment of one’s health condition has an impact on the level of fear caused by the pandemic. The respondents with chronic ailments are more liable to express fear than those who evaluate their health highly. The perception of the risks associated with the coronavirus infection is different in terms of sexes. Compared to men, women, on average, perceive the coronavirus threat and its subsequent problems more emotionally and give a lower assessment to their health condition. The population’s fear of the pandemic is exacerbated by the fact that this viral infection has not been adequately studied yet and we are not aware of its future repercussions or complications. Therefore, those respondents who are fully healthy also express justifiable apprehension. There emerged a proportionate connection between the level of following the epidemiologists’ recommendations and perception of the threat of the COVID infection. The more seriously people perceive the mentioned threat, the more eager they are to fulfill the epidemiologists’ recommendations.
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