According to a new COVID-19 study from NYU Abu Dhabi, country-wide social-distancing measures have resulted in a decrease in anxiety among the general population. The research also revealed that female heads of state are more inclined to implement COVID-19 restrictions than their male counterparts. These are among some of the findings researchers have identified so far from their ongoing study, which aims to aid governments’ understanding to ensure enhanced policy development.
Assistant Professors of Political Science at NYU Abu Dhabi Robert Kubinec and Joan Barcelo, as well as a team of 10 other researchers from the University of Oxford, University of Southern California, and other top global academic institutions, found that business restrictions and social distancing measures were strongly associated with reduced general anxiety. The findings were published in an open archive platform called SocArXiv to help encourage academics from around the world to use the database for their own research.
The study assigns governments scores based on six policy categories including social distancing policies, school-related policies, business-related policies, health monitoring policies, health resources policies, and mask-related policies.
Several conclusions were drawn from this latest update that could aid governments analysis and further develop policies while helping academics better understand human behavior during the pandemic.
For instance, researchers discovered that school restrictions were associated with higher rates of personal contact with people outside the home, higher levels of income inequality, and bureaucratic corruption.
These findings were derived from Coronanet, an online database that allows researchers to combine policy data from two of the most comprehensive COVID-19 policy datasets, the CoronaNet COVID-19 Government Response Event Dataset - gathered by more than 500 researchers and from over 60,000 data entries, and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. The data was also correlated to a wide scale survey conducted on Facebook by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland designed to gauge citizen sentiment and provide a more holistic view on the risk factors.