Ion Jigău, director of the sociological research company C.B.S.-RESEARCH, said active local leaders exert a strong influence, primarily in rural areas, and it is very important that these realize the gravity of the situation related to the novel coronavirus and communicate with locals.
In a public debate titled “Who is afraid of COVID-19 and why”, which was staged by IPN News Agency, Ion Jigău said there are local opinion leaders who are known by the entire community and who can influence whole communities. These include the priests, doctors, businessmen who should mobilize to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the problems that appear in society owing to the virus affect many people. For example, when a part of the community becomes infected, the whole community is placed in quarantine.
Ion Jigău said the authorities should disseminate a clear message and warn the people to protect and not say that it is just the flu. Those who said that COVID-19 is just the flu should remedy the situation.
“We should actually exert pressure on the leaders from down and not only on local opinion leaders, but also on those from the upper level,” stated Ion Jigău.
The debate “Who is afraid of COVID-19 and why” was the 149th installment of the debates project “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.