COVID-19 Personal Protective Behaviors during Large Social Events: The Value of Behavioral Observations.

COVID-19 Personal Protective Behaviors during Large Social Events: The Value of Behavioral Observations.

Publication date: Jan 17, 2024

Within the context of reopening society in the summer of 2021, as the UK moved away from ‘lockdowns’, the Government of Wales piloted the return of organized ‘mass gatherings’ of people at a number of test events. The current study reports behavioral observations that were made at two of the test events to inform this process. The researchers were particularly interested in four key factors: how (1) context within a venue, (2) environmental design, (3) staffing and social norms, and (4) time across an event, affected the personal protective behaviors of social distancing and face-covering use. Data collection was undertaken by trained observers. Adherence to protective behaviors was generally high, but there is clear evidence that these behaviors were shaped in a systematic way by the environment, situational cues, and the passage of time during the events. Some instances of large-scale non-adherence to personal protective behaviors were documented. An analysis within a dual-process framework suggests ways to understand and respond to supporting target health behaviors in groups of people where intervention is deemed valuable, such as in complex or ambiguous contexts. This is one of the first studies to include a ‘true’ behavioral measure in understanding human responses to COVID-19. It demonstrates that behavioral observations can add precision and granularity to understanding human behavior in complex real-world contexts. Given the significant physical and mental health burden created acutely and chronically by COVID-19, this work has implications for how governments and organizations support target populations in other complex challenges facing us today, such as in sustainability, and healthy lifestyle behaviors. An individual’s intentions are not always matched by their actions, and so the findings support a balanced liberal paternalistic approach where system-level changes support appropriate individual-level decisions to engender collective responsibility and action.

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Concepts Keywords
Covid behavior
Environmental COVID-19
Reopening dual-process
Summer mass-gathering


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease IDO process
disease VO time
disease IDO intervention
drug DRUGBANK Nonoxynol-9
disease MESH lifestyle
disease MESH infection
disease VO vaccine
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH burnout
disease VO population
disease IDO history
disease VO effective
disease VO report
disease VO Gap
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
disease VO mouth
disease VO nose
disease VO organization
disease IDO cell
drug DRUGBANK Ibuprofen
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
drug DRUGBANK Ethanol
disease MESH uncertainty
disease MESH suicide
disease MESH post traumatic stress disorder
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
disease VO effectiveness
disease MESH secondary trauma
disease VO USA
disease VO volume
disease MESH Middle East respiratory syndrome
disease MESH emergency
disease VO Equity

Original Article

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