Violence at protests, distrust in government

Authors: by Chris Melore

AARHUS, Denmark — In an already divided nation, a new study finds COVID-19 is making a poor political situation even worse. Researchers conducting an international survey reveal the burden the coronavirus pandemic is placing on society is driving more people act violently at protests as well as creating even more antigovernment sentiment worldwide.

A team from the Peace Research Institute in Norway and the University of Aarhus polled 6,000 adults from the United States, Denmark, Italy, and Hungary during the pandemic. Researchers asked each person how COVID was affecting their health, financial well-being, relationships, and rights in society.

“The pandemic has disrupted our normal way of living, generating frustrations, unprecedented social exclusion, and a range of other concerns,” says Henrikas Bartusevičius Olso’s Peace Research Institute Oslo in a media release. “Our investigations show that the psychological toll of living through a pandemic also stoked antigovernment and antisystemic attitudes that led to political violence in a number of countries.”

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