People seem to put more faith in face masks than in hand-washing


Researchers have found that, as the COVID-19 pandemic wore on last year, people appeared to put more faith in face masks than in hand-washing; men are less likely to use sanitisers and wash their hands than women are; but are more likely to socially distance. The findings were published in the journal PLOS One by two researchers at the Wits University school of economics and finance.

The study used data from the first two phases or “waves” of the National Income Dynamics

Study-Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram) research project.

Researchers also found that when the airborne nature of the disease was understood more clearly, “expert views available to the public changed in favour of face masks” and use of them surged from under 50% to over 70%.

However, measures such as social distancing, avoiding close contact, avoiding big groups and staying

at home declined between the two waves of the study

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