Survey NRW citizens call for stricter Corona measures
NRW · Almost two-thirds of people in NRW are in favour of a lockdown if the number of infections continues to rise. Compulsory vaccination is also widely supported, according to the "NRW Check“, a survey run by 38 daily newspapers.
2G rules for trade and leisure activities, priority checks on buses and trains, plus long queues in front of vaccination centres - the Corona pandemic is omnipresent for people in NRW, even almost two years after the first known cases in Wuhan, China. In addition, in view of the Omikron variant now spreading, there are heated discussions about a new lockdown before or after Christmas, as well as the political dispute about compulsory nationwide vaccination.
No other problem is perceived as more urgent by the population, as is impressively demonstrated by the "NRW-Check", a four-part survey of the North Rhine-Westphalian daily newspapers before the state elections in spring 2022. For this purpose, the opinion research institute Forsa surveyed eligible voters in NRW on various topics in 2009.
NRW Check: 63 percent of respondents think Corona measures do not go far enough
Two-thirds of the respondents named the Corona pandemic in general as the biggest problem at present - well ahead of education and transport (14 percent each) and climate change (13 percent). By contrast, the restrictions adopted specifically to combat the pandemic, such as mandatory masks, Christmas market closures or contact restrictions, were mentioned by only seven percent. Six percent of respondents cited the organisation of the Corona vaccinations, such as the preparation and implementation of the campaign and the shortage of vaccines. Concerns about Corona deniers, anti-vaccination activists and contrarians were limited, cited by five percent of respondents. Hesitancy in the Corona measures taken was mentioned just as frequently.
The high level of awareness of the problem among the citizens leads to a high level of acceptance of stricter measures, which are even demanded: 63 percent of the respondents said that the measures taken in NRW to combat the pandemic did not go far enough for them. On the other hand, 18 percent consider them appropriate, 15 percent consider them too far-reaching. Unsurprisingly, the only group that does not consider the measures taken to combat the Corona in NRW to be insufficient is that of AfD supporters, the majority of whom instead consider the measures to go too far.
63 percent of the citizens in North Rhine-Westphalia consider a lockdown with the closure of shops and leisure facilities, exit and contact restrictions for all citizens, and a ban on larger events to be correct. However, this is only in case the number of infections continues to rise. On Wednesday, the number of newly infected people per 100,000 inhabitants dropped sharply in one week: the National Health Centre registered 255.4 - that was 12.5 less than the day before. A third of the voters surveyed reject a lockdown even in the event of a renewed rise in the number of infections. Comparatively, reservations about a general lockdown are greatest among residents of Sauerland and Siegerland, workers, the self-employed, as well as supporters of the FDP and, above all, the AfD.
This attitude towards stricter measures against the pandemic is also evident elsewhere: By the end of the year, the Ethics Council is to issue a recommendation on a general vaccination obligation, and the Bundestag is then to decide on its introduction without factional coercion. A large majority of the citizens of North Rhine-Westphalia are in favour of such a general vaccination obligation. 73 percent of the citizens in North Rhine-Westphalia want it. Only 24 percent are against it.
Rejection of compulsory vaccination highest in Münsterland
It is striking that in Münsterland, for example, people are more reticent about the issue. Of all the regions in North Rhine-Westphalia, 30 percent of the respondents there were clearly more opposed to compulsory vaccination. One possible explanation could be that the vaccination campaign in Münsterland is making good progress even without compulsory vaccination. Only recently, the district-specific vaccination monitoring of the North Rhine-Westphalian state government showed that the districts of Borken, Coesfeld and Steinfurt were clearly above the state-wide vaccination rate in the first week of December.
Since the risk of a severe course of disease increases with age, it is not surprising that the older generation is much more clearly in favour of compulsory vaccination: 87 percent of people over 60 considered it appropriate, only ten percent opposed it.
Compulsory vaccination for certain occupational groups, which has already been initiated, has even more support among the population. Accordingly, 78 percent welcome the plan to better protect patients and those in need of care from Covod 19 infection. In future, employees in health and care facilities will have to prove that they have been vaccinated or have recovered, or that they have not been vaccinated for medical reasons. Less than one-fifth (17 percent) rejected such an occupational vaccination requirement.
Another measure that has already taken effect is the compulsory use of masks in class. The state government had only reinstated this on December 2. This was preceded by massive criticism from the opposition, pupils, teachers and parents. With the revival of the compulsory wearing of masks, Education Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) is also responding to the will of the majority of the population: two-thirds of the citizens in North Rhine-Westphalia consider the abolition of compulsory wearing of masks in schools to be wrong. Only 26 percent considered this measure to be right. In this question, too, only the AfD supporters expressed a different opinion. What must be driving state politicians of all colours is the fact that they are generally seen as having little problem-solving competence. More than half see no party as capable of dealing with the country's problems.