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People have a false sense of security about Covid risks among friends – study | Corona Virus

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Researchers have found that the presence or even thoughtfulness of friends and family can calm people’s sense of safety when it comes to Covid.

Marketing experts have revealed that those who believe they have contracted Covid from a friend or family member are less likely to believe they will catch it again than those who have been infected by acquaintances or strangers.

The Carlos III University team in Madrid, Spain, say their experiences also indicate that the so-called “friend-shield effect” appears to be stronger among those who are politically conservative rather than liberal.

“Reducing interactions with close friends and family members is a common preventative measure to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19, but study results show that this practice also inadvertently leads to other problems, as people tend to perceive lower health risks and engage in potentially dangerous health behaviors. The authors’ report.

The findings appear to be related to what’s known as the “intimacy paradox” – the idea that those we feel closest and safest with may actually pose the greatest risk.

Experts have previously raised the issue regarding gatherings of friends and family during Christmas and other occasions during the Covid pandemic, with concerns that people tend to let their guard down among those close to them, increasing the risk of infection spreading.

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The researchers, Professor Eileen de Vries and Dr. Hyungjung Crystal Lee, conducted a series of online experiments with participants in the United States, and conducted a series of online experiments with participants in the United States. In one task, the team divided 495 participants into two groups and asked them to write some thoughts about a friend or acquaintance. They were then asked to read a paragraph indicating that fast food increases the risk of severe Covid-19 infection, unlike sanitizers and masks, before they were offered a special offer in an online store of chocolate bars, chips or face masks, antiseptic wipes and hand sanitizer.

The findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, revealed that 27% of those who made a purchase after writing about a friend chose junk food, compared to 21% who wrote about an acquaintance.

In another task involving 262 people who had never had Covid before, the team found people who were asked to imagine being sick from a friend who planned to spend an average of $9.28 on items like masks or hand sanitizer over the next two months — about half of what they planned to imagine being infected. by acquaintances or strangers.

Professor Stephen Reacher, of the University of St Andrews, a member of the Sage Subcommittee on Advice on Behavioral Sciences – who was not involved in the new work – said the study added weight to a long line of research that came to similar conclusions.

But he said that while experts had raised the issue, UK ministers had repeatedly endorsed the idea that people familiar to us were less dangerous. For example, Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said Conservative MPs do not need to wear masks during debates in the House of Commons because they know each other and have a “friendly and brotherly spirit”..

Studies have also found that people not only trust friends more, but members of the same group, as fans of the same soccer team, even when they are strangers, Richer said.

“There is no moral judgment associated with infection. Anyone can have Covid, be it friend or foe, acquaintance or stranger,” Reicher said. “Ironically, the more we assume that ‘people like us’ won’t have the virus, the more likely we are to get it from them.”

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