Index of Panic goes down as people become alert

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New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) The Index of Panic over the coronavirus epidemic has dissipated as complacency among the masses goes down, according to the IANS C- Voter Covid Tracker.
Yashwant Deshmukh, Founder-Director, C-Voter International, said that the Index of Panic has gone down in the third week of tracker as the levels of complacency go down among the masses.
He said that basically more people are becoming alert the more they are consuming the information while more preparedness is keeping the panic level in check.
However, the tracker brings to the fore several clear socio-economic trends which are visible in the data.
Deshmukh said that as the education levels go up, more people are becoming aware that this threat is real, not exaggerated.
“And as the income levels go down, more people are panicking that they are going to be infected. In short, the bottom of the pyramid is more panicked, but the middle class is holding the fort,” he added.
The third tracker was conducted on April 4-6 with a sample size of 1,114 across all the states.
To a question on whether people are afraid that they or someone in their family can get the coronavirus, 43.4 per cent said yes while 53.6 per cent disagreed. The numbers for the previous week were 48.3 per cent and 46.5 per cent, respectively. More complacency was seen in the first week of the tracker.
The responses and trends come at a time when just four days are left to go for the national lockdown to end. But indications are that the lockdown will be extended, at least in the hotspots, and a gradual exit strategy will be followed.
Among the socio economic groups, and the Index of Panic in the age groups, the panic level is maximum among the freshers, those below 25, with 50.6 per cent agreeing with the proposition. Those above 60 years come in second at 49.3 per cent.
Similarly, the panic levels are higher among the lower education groups at 44 per cent, compared to higher education groups at 39.8 per cent.
On income levels, the panic level is higher among lower income groups at 45.6 per cent who agree with the question, while it is much lower among the higher income groups at only 37.9 per cent. The availability of resources is providing the cushion for the lockdown period and to weather the storm.
The panic level is more or less the same among the various caste and religious groups in the early forties except the Sikhs where only 37.8 per cent agree with the question.
Among the regions, in the East the number of people who disagree with the question is 5.9 per cent, in the North it is 14 per cent, in the South it is 21.4 per cent while in the West it is 10 per cent.
On the index of complacency, the tracker found that the level of complacency is coming down and less people think that the threat is exaggerated.
In the third week, 53.7 per cent disagree that the threat is exaggerated while those who agree is 38.1 per cent, with a gap of 15.6 per cent. This is the highest reading on people becoming cautious since the first tracker.
The complacency is highest in the West with 45.8 per cent agreeing with this exaggeration perception while it is the lowest in the East at 29.5 per cent. The West region is followed by South at 42.3 per cent.