With the passage of a year since the emergence of Corona, we have little confidence in the vaccination policy, we are tired and crave more social contacts. We believe it is time for the government to give greater priority to the consequences for the economy and welfare.
With 30,000 committee members, we looked back at the last year of Corona and looked for a way out of the crisis. The most striking result, in our opinion, is the low confidence in the Dutch vaccination policy. Only a third of those surveyed (37 percent) said they trust it. The majority, 61 percent, do not.
Too late, too slowly and too chaotic, was the opinion of many respondents about the vaccination policy. There is a lot of listening for all kinds of interest groups clamoring for priority. It feels like it’s pushing ahead.
“I can’t explain it to friends outside,” says one participant. “It seems as though decisions are made privately every day, and the grand plan behind it doesn’t seem to be there. There doesn’t seem to be a critical manager.
Watch Minister Hugo de Jong’s response to the commission’s findings here.
The low confidence is particularly noticeable because the participants completed the survey in the week the one million injection was taken. While the vaccination campaign appears to be gaining momentum, the picture remains weak.
People want mass vaccination (76 percent). They see it as a key to a more normal life, something they look forward to after a year of persistence. There seems to be a little bit of control over something very important.
Support difficult intervention
EenVandaag measured support for the government’s approach throughout the year of Corona. For about a year, the majority of those questioned approved of the cabinet’s measures. During the first wave in April 2020, confidence in the approach was high (79%). We estimated the tough cabinet intervention during the first shutdown. The feeling that we might get rid of the coronavirus soon if we “ put our shoulders together ” was still prevalent at the time.
When casualties spiked again in the second wave, many were outraged by the wait-and-see attitude of the cabinet. In October, confidence in Corona’s approach was at an all-time low (47 percent). But when the government acted aggressively again with a new lockdown, doubts disappeared and confidence returned.
But since January 2021, the span appears a bit distant and confidence has hovered around 50 per cent. This week, the government announced a easing package, it remained at 47 percent. Many people cite the faltering vaccination policy as the main reason for their moderate confidence in the overall approach to the Corona crisis.
If we look at it throughout the year, the two characters get a tiny pass. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is the best with 5.8. RIVM Director Jaap Van Decil received 5.5 for his contribution. Minister Hugo de Jong, in charge of vaccination, scored the lowest results with 5.2. “It’s also difficult not to deliver those vaccines,” says one panelist. “In the end it will work, but for now he has to work better.”
Presentation by Gijs Rademaker.
Corona year has a great impact on the psychological health of the participants. Nearly half (43 percent) say they feel worse now than they did a year ago. We are tired of sticking to all restrictions, lack of social contact, not being able to cuddle, not having a job, not going to school. “There are no distractions like the gym, the movie, or the pub. I exist, but I’m not really alive anymore.”
Only 5% feel better than last year. Half of them (51 percent) still feel the same way about Corona. This group often tries to get the most out of it while still being allowed. But they also eagerly look forward to a more normal life. “I am trying to adapt to each measure, but the extension has ended since November.”
On Wednesday, March 17th, the Netherlands will go to the polls for the parliamentary elections. On our polling trends page, you can use clear charts to see how politicians and parties are performing in the lead up. Who is the most reliable and least reliable party leader? How many seats can the parties rely on and what does that mean to form a coalition?
The one-person rule cannot be preserved
Several respondents indicated that they are tired of following the rules. They have the greatest difficulty with the rule that you can only have one person in the house. Four in ten (42 percent) say they always stick to it. Almost half (45 percent) indicate that this is not always possible. Another 10 percent admit that they often break this rule.
Many simply don’t succeed in limiting contact with family and friends anymore. Committee members say the need for real contact at this time of crisis is overwhelming. Video calls cannot compete with that, and we prefer not to choose between our loved ones because we can only meet one at a time.
Watch the Gijs Rademaker’s demo here.
More attention to social consequences
The moderate confidence in the current government policy is also due to the fact that many people have a change of mindset. So far, this policy has mainly been aimed at reducing infections and preventing overcrowding in healthcare for Corona patients. People could be there for a long time. But six out of ten respondents (61 percent) now think it is time to pay more attention to the social consequences of Corona.
They believe that in the coming months the government should focus mainly on the consequences of Corona on the economy (55 percent), our mental and social well-being (41 percent), “normal” hospital care (37 percent) and education. (28 percent). “My husband’s surgery has been postponed again, my daughter is depressed, and a lot of people are going through difficult times. The government must now start taking care of them,” said one participant.
About the search
The survey was conducted from February 18 to 26, 2021. To search (pdf) 29,993 EenVandaag Opinion Committee members participated. After weighting, the survey represents six variables, namely age, gender, education, marital status, distribution across the country, and political preference, measured by the 2017 House of Representatives elections.