A Report of the Questionnaire Survey on Awareness of COVID-19 and Shelters
Arisa Yasui*, and Muneyoshi Numada**,***
*Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
**Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
***Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
The 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has rapidly spread across the world, and has since become not only a health problem but also a socioeconomic problem. In disaster-prone countries like Japan, there is substantial concern about the occurrence of natural disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic. When a natural disaster occurs, many people evacuate to shelters, and an outbreak of infectious disease often happens in shelters. In this situation, we should consider the management of evacuation shelters under this pandemic situation. Many types of research have investigated infectious diseases in shelters after a natural disaster. However, these are about infectious diseases after a disaster, and not about the occurrence of natural disasters under a pandemic like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, such researches mainly focus on medical teams or local governments who respond to infectious diseases. Based on the above mentioned information, the purpose of this study is to clarify (i) the change in citizens’ awareness of risk influenced by the spread of COVID-19 and (ii) the measurement and decision necessary for evacuating people under COVID-19. We administered a questionnaire to Japanese citizens from April to May 2020, and found that majority of people do not want to have evacuation life under COVID-19, and this tendency is larger among people who live together with the aged and the care-needed. In addition, this research confirmed the risk awareness structure applicable to both COVID-19 and natural disasters. The results show that many people firmly ask governments to take measures against infectious disease such as using hotels as shelters, securing personal spaces in shelters, storing masks and disinfectors, and so on during an outbreak of an infectious disease. However, it is not enough to take such measures only; it is necessary to provide accurate information and mental support to reduce anxiety in people. Based on these results, we should consider more about the management of shelters under COVID-19 as soon as possible before the arrival of typhoon season.
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