Bartusevičius and his colleagues asked 6,000 adults from the United States, Denmark, Italy, and Hungary if and how the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively affected their health, finances, relationships, and rights. The interviewees were asked to report if they felt dissatisfaction with their societies and governments and whether they were motivated to engage in or had already engaged in protests or political violence.
The results from this survey uncovered striking associations between the psychological burden of COVID-19 and highly disruptive sentiments and behaviors, including the use of violence for a political cause. In contrast, the research revealed no consistent correlations between the COVID-19 burden and the motivation to engage in peaceful forms of activism.
“We were also surprised to find that COVID-19 burden does not need additional triggers to motivate political violence,” said Bartusevičius. “It is seemingly enough on its own.”
COVID-19 burden is the overall psychological toll of living through a pandemic. It’s the sum total of individual stresses a person experiences during a pandemic and the responses that governments take against it, such as lockdown measures, mask mandates, and physical-distancing directives.
The researchers found that in the United States specifically, those experiencing a higher COVID-19 burden were also more likely to report engagement in violence during the Black Lives Matter protests and counterprotests. The pandemic and associated lockdowns may have contributed to the frustrations that were unleashed in these events, the researchers said.
“This is the first time in the modern era that highly individualized Western democracies have faced a major pandemic,” said coauthor Michael Bang Peterson, a researcher at Read More
Paul Wekem Ghanaian security specialist is well versed in managing and directing the implementation of security standards and policies including total integrated security solutions to optimize controls. He is proficient in the establishment and development of external relationships with stakeholders, negotiating and influencing at all levels