One-Fifth of Bulgarians Believe COVID-19 Threat was Exaggerated

Data from a recent global poll conducted by the world association "Gallup International" represent the diverse perceptions surrounding the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic. The survey, conducted between October and December 2023 across 44 countries, revealed that nearly half of the respondents, totaling 45%, believe that the threat of the coronavirus has been exaggerated. Remarkably, this sentiment is echoed by 20% of Bulgarians.

Further examining the data, it becomes apparent that opinions vary significantly across regions. The strongest support for the belief in the exaggeration of the COVID-19 threat is found in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a staggering 75% of respondents holding this view. Kosovo follows closely behind at 71%, while Azerbaijan, Romania, and Georgia report percentages of 68%, 66%, and 65% respectively.

Previous research has indicated a notable decline in the perceived importance of vaccines across European countries since the onset of the pandemic. Additionally, negative perceptions of national governments in certain regions, particularly in Europe, have contributed to a divisive rather than unifying response to the crisis. This lack of trust in government leadership has, in turn, influenced public perceptions regarding the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat.

The Middle East emerges as another region where skepticism regarding the severity of the pandemic is prevalent, with 47% of respondents agreeing that the threat of COVID-19 is exaggerated. Particularly in war-torn societies like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, where life-threatening challenges persist, a significant portion of the population shares this sentiment, with percentages ranging from 57% to 62%.

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