While other countries see an increase in division ever since COVID-19 took place, the effect of the pandemic is quite the opposite for these Asian countries.
A survey conducted by Pew Research Centre with 19 countries shows that 68% agree that their country did a good job of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Most participants believe that the pandemic created greater divisions in their country and exposed the political systems in handling such a crisis.
Pew specified that one of the sources of these divisions manifested in how people viewed the social limitations they faced throughout the pandemic such as the mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns or stay-at-home orders.
A median of 61% considers their country to be more divided than before the pandemic while, 32% think COVID-19 has made the society, united. The US shares the highest percentage of division with 81% whereas the majority of Singapore, Sweden and Malaysia feel united.
Positive responses are common in Singapore where nine in ten adults say the nation has done well in addressing and dealing with the pandemic. Singapore abandoned the Zero-COVID policy last October but is successful in suppressing the spread of the virus. Malaysia comes second in Asian countries with 77% positive feedback. South Korea and Japan ranked with the least positive view on how their countries dealt with the pandemic with 57 and 52 per cent, respectively.
Pew also reported how majorities see vaccination as at least somewhat important for being a good member of society contributing to the betterment of the COVID-19 situation. Singapore and Malaysia ranked highest among the Asian countries with 72% and 60%, respectively, that think coronavirus vaccines are important. The majority of Japan also believes the same with 59% and South Korea’s majority agreeing that it is not important.
The Asia-Pacific region agreed that the restrictions made on social activities were about right. With a total of 63% sharing that view. However, in North America and Western Europe, the public believes that the restrictions did not go far enough in their countries.
The study shows that there is a significant relationship between how an individual positively assesses pandemic handling and the statistics of deaths reported caused by the coronavirus. As an example, Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand respectively reported less than 100 COVID-19 deaths on 15 May 2021 while the U.S accounted for more than half a million deaths around the same time. Some of these respondents shared the most positive reviews on how COVID-19 was handled in their countries.