IS COVID-19 PREPAREDNESS AND ANXIETY CORRELATED? EMERGING DISEASE OUTBREAKS IN THE THAI CONTEXTS
It has been almost a half year since COVID-19 has forced all nations to speed up their outbreak preparedness as it simultaneously created significant public anxiety. This study investigated the canonical relationship between factors of COVID-19 preparedness and anxiety and proposed a conceptual model framework on these factors in the contexts of Thailand. This mixed-methods study employed an explanatory sequential design to conduct a two-phase exploration. Quantitative data were collected in the first phase using online questionnaires. The sample included 2808 respondents selected through a convenience and a snowball sampling. Data collection was conducted from March 29 to May 16, 2020, and content analysis was employed to process these data. The quantitative analysis with canonical relationship between COVID-19 preparedness and anxiety was 0.403 at a moderate level (p-value < 0.01). Thai citizens with high preparedness on risk mitigation and long-term outbreak mitigation planning tended to congruently demonstrate high anxiety towards responses of the government and public sectors, corruption, and misconduct. The conceptual model framework of qualitative analysis on preparedness were classified into three levels, i.e., individuals, families and communities, and social networks. COVID-19 anxiety that was related to a) responses of the government and public sectors, and b) corruption and misconduct, and also showed direct impacts on work and life anxiety. Thai citizens recognized and understood that self-reliance is mostly needed to relieve pandemic-related anxiety. Cooperation with public and private bodies on precautionary measures was deemed essential to prevent a second wave of spread.
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