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Perceptions of a Pandemic: The Impact of COVID-19 on Society

Co-PIs: Donna Sedgiwck (Sociology) & C. Cozette Comer (Library)



Our goal is to conduct a series of analyses that address a wide range of social and political issues related to the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland and the US, and publish them in an open-access anthology that will contribute to the field of research aimed at mitigating the effects of the current and future health crises. The format proposed is a ten-chapter book grouped into three sections: understanding behaviors, perceptions, and the possible pandemic problem solvers; media as a complicating factor; and public priorities, such as wellbeing, spending, and compliance during the pandemic. The data presented will provide rich explanations for variations in perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors as well as a cross-national comparison between two countries with different approaches to governance and social welfare. The focus on how perceptions and behaviors changed during the early stages of the pandemic will allow us to capture respondents’ initial reactions, attitudes, beliefs, and fears. Doing so will provide insights into how the pandemic differentially unfolded in the two countries as well as inform policy makers and health professionals about issues and challenges they should consider when the next global health crises emerges.