Community help wanted for Covid study

A James Cook University researcher is investigating what people know about the COVID-19 virus and where they get their information from in order to be better prepared for the recovery phase – and the next pandemic.

Dr Yetta Gurtner is a lecturer with the Centre for Disaster Studies at JCU.

“There has been extensive advice provided to the Australian community regarding transmission, symptoms, minimising personal risk and strategies of social distancing, however for many people there is still a level of confusion or uncertainty,” she said.

Dr Gurtner is conducting an online survey about COVID-19 to identify any problems with the information people have been provided.

“The survey covers a lot of ground. For instance, it investigates what people know about past viruses, their knowledge and preparedness for the current virus, and how it should be dealt with on a personal and societal level.

“The idea is to develop recommendations to help Australians and their governments to better prepare, manage and respond to pandemic events, as unfortunately there is likely to be other deadly viruses in the future,” she said.

Dr Gurtner said the survey also asked how people received their information.

“This is important to know too, as most of the community no longer seem to rely on just the TV, radio, or print media for information, and we need to ensure the right messages are getting out to everyone.”

She said the results of the survey will be shared with the health sector, relevant government agencies and the community to improve pandemic management.

If you’d like to take part, the survey is anonymous and takes about ten minutes.

The link is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID19PANDEMIC

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