“For 30 weeks already, our study has been documenting how people assess what is happening around the coronavirus,” says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. “This enables us to observe how people react to changes in the pandemic.”
Further trends in the overview:
Classification of possible sources of infection
Since March, the survey has registered which sources the respondents consider as possible transmission pathways for the coronavirus. Over the entire course of the survey, a stable pattern has been observed: Proximity to other people is mostly associated with a high probability of infection (67 percent in the current survey). Relatively often, contact with door handles is also seen as a source of infection (44 percent). In contrast, the probability of transmission through food, pets or clothing is usually rated as low.
Personal protective measures
The regulations – including the mandatory use of masks and the mandatory distance – are continuously implemented by the vast majority. More attention is also paid to hygiene: In the current survey, respondents said that they protect themselves against an infection by washing their hands more thoroughly (92 percent) and using disinfectants more frequently (74 percent). Many also restrict their social contacts. However, a downward trend could be observed over the summer: While in June about 80 percent said that they met with others less often, this figure has dropped to 60 percent in recent months.
Since the beginning of the epidemic in Germany, people have informed themselves through various information channels: Here, traditional media such as radio, print and particularly television play a role, as do conversations among acquaintances or the Internet. In this respect, the majority of respondents consider the media coverage surrounding the outbreak to be appropriate (65 percent in the current survey), while around a third (30 percent) rate it as exaggerated.
What happens next?
The BfR-Corona-Monitor will continue in November. The survey will continue to be carried out every two weeks and will comprise around 1,000 people at a time.
The BfR continually adapts its FAQs on the topic of coronavirus to the current state of science:
About the BfR-Corona-Monitor
The BfR-Corona-Monitor is a recurring (multi-wave) representative survey of the German population’s perception of risks from the novel coronavirus. Every week between 24 March and 26 May 2020, around 500 randomly selected people were asked by telephone about their assessment of the risk of infection and their protective measures, among other things. Since June 2020, the survey is continued every two weeks with about 1,000 respondents each. A summary of the data is regularly published on the homepage of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. More information about the method and sample can be found in publications about the BfR-Corona-Monitor.
About the BfR
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states (“Laender”) on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.
This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.
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