Behaviour matters

A great article was published yesterday in Lancet, The Cummings effect: politics, trust, and behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having analysed responses of over 40 thousand people in England, Scotland and Wales, the authors have shown that the confidence in the UK/English government has been dropping since the beginning of May, even before the lockdown easing strategy was announced. But Dominic Cummings’ story and its aftermaths have made an even deeper and consistent drop.

The Cummings effect: politics, trust, and behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31690-1/fulltext

The willingness of the public to adhere to the regulations has also taken a drop, although perhaps less noticeable against a general decline since the beginning of May.

Interestingly, Scotland has the highest levels of confidence in the local (devolved) government and slower decline in adherence to the regulations, while people in Wales seem to be most willing to stick to the quarantine rules.

Something the authors seem to have missed is that the UK Government plans to ease lockdown apply to England only; Scotland and Wales have their own strategy for the lockdown easing process.

For those not in the UK: The country has four regions, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The central government is also responsible for England; each of the three other regions has a devolved government which, among other duties, is responsible for health matters.