Since it invaded Turkey in March, the coronavirus has disrupted the daily lives of millions in the country. Along with government-imposed measures, the public is extremely cautious against the lethal virus.
A survey by Necmettin Erbakan University, in the central Turkish province of Konya, shows people started stockpiling masks and sanitizers and visit restaurants and cafes less frequently. People also avoid taking elevators, the survey shows.
The research, led by professor Bülent Dilmaç from the Psychological Consultancy Department, sought a glimpse into the minds of Turks in their study on social changes amid pandemic.
They interviewed 726 people from 40 provinces in Turkey’s seven regions for the study, which focused on the mental well-being of individuals, obsessive-compulsive behavior and confronting challenges during the outbreak.
About 55.4% of participants said they stocked masks at home as a caution against a shortage. Another 65.8% said they always carried sanitizers with them. An overwhelming 86.9% of participants said they went out less for eating and ordered food less often during the pandemic.
Dilmaç told Demirören News Agency (DHA) Friday that their survey gave insight into people’s fears. "We found out a higher level of fear among those stocking masks. A majority of people also carry sanitizers, even while traveling between cities. About 98.9% of participants say they felt the need to wash their hands and disinfect themselves when they returned home. They believe they are at greater risk and this fear of infection affects their mental wellbeing," he says.
Some 41% of interviewees started buying more hygiene products and started stockpiling them. "The majority of them developed an aversion to people coughing and sneezing. People’s shopping habits apparently changed in the pandemic, and they prioritized hygiene materials and cleaning products. This stems from their perception of threat. They feel safe the more they use hygiene products," he said.
People have also developed a fear of elevators. "People believe in a higher infection rate in enclosed, narrow spaces where people come together with little distance between them. About 45.7% of interviewees said they stopped taking elevators. Another 89.9% stopped riding mass transit. They prefer their own vehicles and if the distance is short, they ride a bicycle or go on foot," Dilmaç says.
Turkey on Thursday recorded 19 daily COVID-19 deaths and 1,243 new infections, raising the country’s total coronavirus cases to 245,635, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.
"The rise in the number of patients has started to be constant," Koca said on Twitter, stating that the number of patients in critical condition has risen by 15 compared with the previous day, which is considered an important indicator of the outbreak.
Koca reported that 968 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 228,057. As of Thursday, Turkey's death toll from the coronavirus stood at 5,912. Health care professionals conducted 66,892 tests to diagnose the disease over the past day, taking the tally to over 5.52 million.
Associate professor Afşin Emre Kayıpmaz, a member of Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, says pessimism and fear were among two of the most undesired side effects of the pandemic. "We have to remain hopeful, but we also should act accordingly to instill this hope," Kayıpmaz told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Friday, urging people to follow the rules against the outbreak strictly to curb the number of cases.
"You can find optimism, for instance, in masks. Mask producers can design more colorful masks and people can compete to be chicer with masks. We can teach songs to sing to the children they could recite while washing their hands. More importantly, people can read and watch stories of people who recovered from the disease or lost a loved one to the disease and can learn how serious it is."
Kayıpmaz said that meticulous efforts managed to bring the number of daily cases below 1,000 last month, but "uncontrolled behaviors" in social life increased them again. "We need to gear up measures as we head into autumn and winter," Kayıpmaz said, referring to an increase in seasonal illnesses that could worsen the situation. He also warned against "members of families who disregard measures and infect other members of the family."
"We see senior citizens infected though they never stepped out, and this is because their infected relatives disregard senior citizens' self-isolation. Self-isolation is vital, and we are astounded to see some positive patients who should be in self-isolation going out for holiday or to attend weddings," he said.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.