Western leaders have sent “contradictory messages,” gradually closing people's favorite institutions and places, said Nick Chater, a renowned behavioral science professor at Warwick Business School for CNN.
While the number of cases detected is steadily increasing in many countries, the situation in Italy exemplifies the possible events that people can expect. At the outbreak of the outbreak in the Peninsula, the authorities resorted to blocking the most affected areas in the north, the coronavirus extending, however, also in the south. The whole country has been subjected to strict rules that many people still seem to ignore. Hundreds of thousands of Italians have been sanctioned for violating the new isolation rules, although a Chinese official at the Chinese Red Cross said last week that the measures taken – among the strictest in Europe – are not harsh enough.
Many other Western countries do not seem to have learned from the example of Italy, given the worrying tendency of people to ignore coronavirus advice and the rules for preventing the spread of infection.
Nick Chater, a renowned behavioral science professor at Warwick Business School, told CNN that these reactions are not abnormal, commenting that Western leaders have been sending “contradictory messages” by gradually shutting down people's favorite institutions and places, according to Mediafax.
“I think that when people are gently advised to do something, most will prefer to listen and not persist in that behavior,” he said.
“In China, the measures were perhaps more drastic than they should have been, but we know that the really severe bans will work. In South Korea, where people had much more freedom of movement, it relied on large-scale testing. Probably a combination of these strategies is needed, “added Chater.
“It is a huge communication failure,” added Chater, urging the general public to listen to tips that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.