Citizens' Responses to COVID-19 Policies: A Comparative Analysis of Russia, Germany, and the USA

Chapter 1


Coronavirus came to Russia on January 31, 2020. During the entire pandemic more than 18 million cases of the disease were registered in the country. More than 370 thousand people died.

Russian authorities began taking measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus infection in January 2020.

Authorities of Russian regions during the pandemic COVID-19 decided independently on tightening or weakening of restrictive measures based on the epidemiological situation.

According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, federal budget expenditures to fight the coronavirus in 2021 amounted to about 850 billion rubles.

General measures

On January 27, 2020, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin held a meeting on the prevention and control of the spread of coronavirus infection, during which he instructed to organize an operational headquarters to prevent the entry and spread of coronavirus infection in Russia. Mishustin ordered to prepare regular reports for the president on the results of monitoring the situation.

On March 14, 2020, Mikhail Mishustin created and headed the Coordinating Council for Combating Coronavirus, which was to develop solutions and coordinate actions to limit the spread of the coronavirus infection on a daily basis.

All Russian regions had declared self-isolation, with the exception of the Tver Region, where a high alert mode had been introduced. The requirements differed from region to region. In the Chechen Republic, the toughest measures were taken: entry and exit to the republic was forbidden. An exception was made for suppliers of products and medical goods.

People of all ages were obliged to observe the self-imposed isolation regime; in particular, people over 65 and adults with chronic diseases. These categories are the ones at risk.

In self-isolation conditions, people could only leave the apartment to go to the store for groceries, to the pharmacy, to take out the garbage or to walk the dog (within a distance of not more than a hundred meters from the house). Russians could also go to work if they had a certificate from their employer, as well as ask for emergency medical care. In public places, it was necessary to strictly observe the distance - not less than 1.5 meters.

Public transport and cars could be used if it was necessary to get to the nearest supermarket. Also, if a pet needed medical care, it was possible to visit veterinary clinics by making an appointment in advance.

Online shopping was not limited: couriers made contactless delivery.

In order to provide sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the people, Russian President Vladimir Putin had repeatedly introduced the regime of days-off with payment: from March 28 to April 30, 2020, from May 6 to 8, 2020, from May 4 to 7, 2021, from October 30 to November 7, 2021.

The regime of non-working days did not apply to workers of:

  • continuously operating organizations;
  • medical and pharmacy organizations;
  • organizations providing the population with food and essential goods;
  • organizations carrying out urgent work in conditions of extraordinary circumstances, in other cases threatening life or normal living conditions of the population;
  • organizations carrying out urgent repair and loading-unloading works.

On March 16, 2020, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection issued Methodological Recommendations for the organization of labor regimes of state authorities, local governments and organizations with state participation in connection with the need to take measures for the nonproliferation of a new coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV).

Bodies and organizations were recommended to:

  • Ensure the cancellation of trips abroad, unless they are urgent and organized in execution of the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation in order to ensure the security of the country, and to recommend civil servants, municipal officials, employees to refrain from all trips to countries with an unfavorable situation associated with the spread of new coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV), unless they are caused by an absolute necessity;
  • Temporarily limit the personal reception of citizens who come to a personal reception, to recommend to apply in writing, to place this information on the stands, official websites;
  • Provide a flexible schedule of arrival/departure to the workplace to avoid crowding of civil servants, municipal employees and workers in the organization;
  • Ensure the use, as a priority, of electronic document flow and technical means of communication to ensure official interaction and minimize access to the body and organization of persons whose professional activities are not related to the performance of the functions of the body and organization;
  • Comply with the established requirements for working conditions, ensuring sufficient air circulation. Provide civil servants, municipal employees, employees in sufficient quantity and constant availability of means for hand disinfection;
  • Exclude the use of air conditioning systems and technical ventilation systems in the offices;
  • Organize a quality cleaning once a day with disinfection of door handles, switches, handrails, railings, common areas, as well as air disinfection (air recirculators, UV-irradiators).

Also, in accordance with the Methodological Recommendations, the Ministry of Labor advised the leaders of government and local authorities, as well as public organizations and state-owned companies to transfer employees to remote work if possible, and for those who continue to go to work, to introduce a flexible schedule to avoid large crowds of people.

On March, 27, 2020, Russia had stopped regular and charter flights with other countries because of the pandemic. Exceptions were made for export, cargo, postal, sanitary and humanitarian flights.

Since March, 19, 2020, Russians had been required to undergo a two-week quarantine when entering the country. Subsequently, the rules for the return of Russians from abroad became stricter, and people were obliged to take the test twice. In July 2021, Russians who vaccinated against coronavirus not earlier than 12 months before, and also those who had been infected within the last six months, were exempted from undergoing PCR-test.

On March, 17, 2020, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation decided to close the public museums and organizations engaged in exhibition activities, theaters, philharmonies, circuses, other performing arts organizations, and organizations engaged in public demonstration of films.

In September 2020, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation set the upper limit for filling theaters' halls during the coronavirus pandemic - audiences could take a maximum of 70% of seats.

A special travel regime was introduced in every second region of Russia. In particular, from April 15, 2020, Moscow authorities introduced a digital pass regime for moving around the city by transport. Digital passes were also introduced in the Moscow region, Primorye, certain regions of the Volga region, Krasnoyarsk Krai and a number of other regions.

The QR-code system was first introduced in the summer of 2021 in Moscow for visiting restaurants and mass events in covid-free zones.

QR codes could be obtained by citizens who had been vaccinated, who had recovered from a coronavirus infection within six months from the date of recovery, and by citizens who had received a valid negative PCR test result if no more than 72 hours had passed since the result was available and registered.

In September 2021, due to the growth of COVID-19 cases, the QR-code system was introduced in the regions of Russia. By November 1, the authorities of all 85 Russian regions announced the introduction of QR-codes for visiting public places.

Citizens and businesses support measures

In order to prevent and reduce the negative effects of coronavirus, the Russian government gradually introduced various support measures for the population, in particular, aimed to:

  • increase the size of existing and introduce additional social payments for the population;
  • introduce incentive payments for certain categories of workers and persons caring for the elderly, disabled, orphaned children and children left without parental care;
  • extend various social payments and documented social statuses;
  • increase the accessibility of certain services, including their remote receipt;
  • provide compensations and deferrals on mandatory payments. The main priority was to support families with children. The poverty rate among children under 18 was 22.9% in 2018, 1.8 times higher than the poverty rate for the entire population. At the same time, among the total poor population, the share of those living with children under 18, was more than 90% in 2018.

Since the introduction of restrictive measures in Russia, the state had used various ways to support business representatives. The key areas of this policy were:

  • support of employment;
  • support of the level of incomes of various population groups, including those who lost their jobs;
  • mitigation of tax conditions for business;
  • easing of credit debt service obligations.

State employment support measures during the pandemic were implemented in several ways:

  • Subsidies. The government provided subsidies (including IE) from the hardest-hit industries to cover labor costs in May and June 2020. More than 3.5 million jobs were supported this way in May. A separate subsidy was paid to the self-employed, its amount was equal to the occupational income tax for 2019;
  • Reduction of insurance premiums. The rate of insurance premiums was reduced from 30 to 15%, but only for that part of the salary that exceeds the minimum wage;
  • Concessional Lending. The enterprises from the most affected industries were provided with loans at 0% for the first six months and 4% for the next six months to cover labor costs. The maximum loan amount was equal to the enterprise's budget to pay all employees for six months. However, the calculations were based on the minimum wage rather than the actual wages of employees.

Healthcare system

On March 16, 2020, the Russian Ministry of Health sent an order to the constituent entities of the Russian Federation "On the temporary procedure for organizing the work of medical organizations to implement measures to prevent and reduce the risks of spread of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

More than 1.4 million medical workers were trained to help patients with new coronavirus infection.

As of mid-December 2021, almost 207,000 hospital beds had been deployed for patients with coronavirus in Russia. Approximately 600,000 to 650,000 health care workers were involved in providing care.

On October 28, 2020, a universal mask regime was introduced in Russia. At that time, a mask regime was already in effect in a number of regions. All subjects of the Russian Federation were recommended to conduct at least 150 tests for coronavirus per 100 thousand population.


On March, 14, 2020, the Ministry of Education recommended that regions move schoolchildren to distance learning to prevent coronavirus. Schools, kindergartens, and secondary vocational schools switched to the new mode of operation on March, 30. The school year ended earlier.

In the next school year, schools returned to a full-time mode of operation, following the recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor for each region. The decision to switch schools to distance learning was made at the regional level, taking into account the epidemiological situation. In March, 2022, Rospotrebnadzor relaxed a number of requirements for coronavirus prevention in educational institutions. In particular, the requirement to assign a separate classroom to each class, and to maintain a social distance of at least 1.5 meters between students in places of certification were abolished.


Despite the significant scale of the epidemic in the United States, the government has implemented a wide range of measures not only to contain the spread of the epidemic and provide medical care to those affected, but also to support people and key sectors of the national economy, including working closely with the country's largest companies.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the U.S. health care system:

  • Inadequate funding in 2017-2019;
  • High level of decentralization of the national system of sanitary and epidemiological monitoring and prevention;
  • low level of health care accessibility;
  • lack of personal protective equipment;
  • unpreparedness of the health care system for large-scale epidemics;
  • excessive strain on New York State's health care system.

The format of educational services had changed: educational institutions was closed in all states, education was provided remotely. International educational programs had been suspended.

General measures

On March 13, 2020 President D. Trump declared a national emergency due to the threat of the spread of the coronavirus. 12.04.2020 U.S. federal authorities for the first time in the history of the country adopted a declaration of emergency simultaneously in all U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

All restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues were closed, matches were canceled and competitions in virtually all contact sports had been cancelled.

Forty-three states instructed all citizens to self-isolate, and crowded events were banned nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ecommended that residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut refrain from traveling within the country due to the spread of coronavirus infection.

At the same time, authorities in Washington, D.C., issued an order to close all stores and establishments providing non-essential services. Gatherings of more than 10 people were forbidden. Violation of these measures was punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, as well as imprisonment. Violation of these rules was subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to 90 days.

As of March 20, 2020, the State of California restricted the unnecessarily movement of citizens. The ban did not apply to visits to shopping malls, medical facilities and recreational facilities. Los Angeles ordered the closure of all outdoor sports fields. Residents of San Francisco and the neighboring cities of San Jose, Berkeley and Oakland were prohibited from going outside unless absolutely necessary.

In the state of New York the state of emergency was in force since 07.03.2020. And from March 21, 2020, the state imposed a home quarantine regime, restricting local residents from going outdoors. The fine for failure to comply with the social distance (1.7 m) was from $250 to $1,000.

In addition, authorities had decided to temporarily close some of the city's streets to motorized vehicles and make them into pedestrian zones in order to reduce the number of cases of contamination.

The state of New Jersey had imposed a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The state of Rhode Island had enacted a 14-day mandatory quarantine for all visitors coming from New York City.

In Miami, some beaches were closed.

In Seattle, events of more than 250 people were banned.

In Las Vegas, casinos and entertainment venues were closed.

On March 18, 2020, the president signed a law on military production, which allowed the head of state to establish control over sectors of the civilian economy, increase production, reallocate key resources, and impose price controls.

The Ministry of Defense had imposed travel restrictions on military personnel and their families within the country, except for mission requirements, humanitarian reasons, or extreme conditions.

A decision was made to deploy the National Guard to New York, California, and Washington, D.C., to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The State Department suspended visa services for most countries on a regular basis. The entry of foreign nationals who had visited a number of countries (European countries, Iran and China).

The U.S. and Mexico agreed to close the border for non-essential travel. On the streets of all cities, utilities tried to disinfect places of potential congestion, including bus stops, parking lots, playgrounds, and spaces near stores.

Despite the fact that the peak of the disease had not been passed, the president developed a plan to gradually reduce the restrictive measures imposed due to the spread of the coronavirus. Two main scenarios were considered: a gradual relaxation in some regions and a one-time elimination of measures in all states.

To avoid the extremely negative impact of a prolonged lockdown on the country's economy and serious socio-political risks, the White House sought to get businesses up and running as much as possible.

Mental Health America Organization monitored citizens' anxiety levels on a daily basis. On its website, the organization accumulated resources and information in order to support the community. Some of the information was presented to specific target groups - mental health service providers, parents and caregivers, the elderly, and people experiencing domestic violence.

Citizens and businesses support measures

The imposition of a state of emergency had given the president access to a special reserve of $50 billion, which he could use to finance the state of emergency. The White House had been working with Congress to develop support measures. The White House and Congress worked together to develop measures to support citizens and businesses.

On March, 6, 2020, the president signed the first package of measures worth $8.3 billion. The funds were intended to support the national health care system and fund research to find a cure and vaccine.

Also, the president signed into law $105 billion in financial assistance for coronavirus victims. The document called for:

  • providing paid emergency leave for employees;
  • reimbursement from insurance companies, Medicare (for seniors) and Medicaid (for the uninsured);
  • up to two weeks of sick leave if an employee gets coronavirus for companies under 500 employees;
  • 10 weeks leave with two-thirds pay;
  • 6 months of unemployment benefits coverage for state budgets.

On March, 27, 2020, the U.S. President signed the third $2.3 trillion package of measures into law. The third package provided:

  • $260 billion for unemployment payments (increase in the size of payments, inclusion of additional categories of citizens, increase in the duration of payments);
  • $290 billion to direct payments to citizens with incomes up to $75 thousand per annum;
  • $377 billion to the total amount of loans and grants to small businesses;
  • $510 billion in loans and grants to small businesses. The government has also made a significant contribution to the development of the economy by providing loans and loan guarantees to large corporations and government agencies; (loans to passenger airlines and businesses critical to maintaining national security);
  • $150 billion in state support (a minimum of $1.25 billion per state);
  • $ 180 billion to support the health care system (increased funding for hospitals, the CDC, the FDA and other agencies);
  • $32 billion to invest in funding for education;
  • $72 billion to support transportation (grants to air cargo carriers, airports, and transportation providers);
  • $280 billion for business tax reductions and tax deferrals

The Federal Reserve System, which serves as the country's central bank, unveiled a $2.3 trillion program to help the economy. The program involved lending to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as assistance to state authorities. The Federal Reserve System said it would lend up to $600 billion through the SME bailout program, using $75 billion in loans from the Treasury Department.

Healthcare system

The magnitude and speed of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States had revealed a number of systemic problems in the management of the national health care and public health system:

  • The Trump administration's earlier (2017-2019) policy of cutting a number of federal budget items for health surveillance, including an 80% cut in funding for the Department of Health's Center for Disease Control and Prevention global outbreak monitoring program, radical cuts to federal support for the state-level system of related state laboratories (resulting in only 3 of 100 national labs;
  • the high level of decentralization of the national system of sanitary and epidemiological monitoring and prevention, with each state having its own autonomous health management system, which made it difficult to collect relevant data at the federal level during the first phase of the epidemic (January-February 2020), and introduction of uniform quarantine measures across the country to limit the spread of the epidemic;
  • low level of access to health care: according to various estimates, 10 to 15% of the U.S. population does not have health insurance. The President signed a law allowing every U.S. resident to be tested for COVID-19 free of charge (even without insurance);
  • shortage of personal protective equipment: exports of personal protective equipment were suspended due to an acute domestic shortage;
  • unpreparedness of the healthcare system for large-scale epidemics: one of the lowest rates among OECD member countries for The number of hospital beds per capita, the low number of ventilators and doctors specialized in their maintenance.

Deployment of COVID-19 testing was delayed and depended on a combination of public and private laboratories.

Private companies were involved in the production of ventilators. On April 2, 2020, the President signed an executive order to provide six U.S. companies, including General Electric, with the materials needed to build the ventilators. As part of the Military Product Manufacturing Act, the Department of Health and Human Services struck a deal with Philips to supply 43,000 ventilators, valued at $646.7 million. General Motors, the automaker, was to manufacture 30,000 ventilators for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The situation in the New York State's health care system state was the most dire. 80% of the intensive care units in New York State were full.

The following measures had been taken to address the problem:

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency dispatched an additional 250 ambulances to New York City, as well as 500 first responders;
  • The Pentagon sent 1,100 military medics to New York City to help fight COVID-19;
  • The J. Javits Conference Center and the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in New York City was converted into hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients;
  • A mobile hospital located in New York City's Central Park began operating;
  • The U.S. Navy's floating hospital, located in New York Harbor, was accepting COVID-19 patients.

Analysts note that the United States was poorly prepared for a pandemic, unlike other developed countries. A large part of the population without health insurance, significant costs for paid medical services - all this leads to the fact that citizens prefer not to go to medical institutions. Even before the crisis began, there were too few doctors in the United States (on average, 2.3 doctors for every 1,000 people in the United States, compared with rates such as 4.25 in Russia, 3.4 in Germany) and too few hospital beds. The number of hospitals in the U.S. was 17.1 per 1 million inhabitants (in Germany it was 37.6).


Early in the pandemic, educational institutions were closed in 50 states and the District of Columbia. The timing of the closures varied across the country, ranging from two weeks to more than a month. Pupils and students were switched to online learning.

Later, the president announced the abolition of school exams. The university entrance exams were moved from April to June. In three states, authorities recommended that schools consider ending the school year earlier.

Most universities had announced that the exams would be administered online. Some universities had suspended their international programs; for example, Villanova, Elon, Florida International and Sirakuzas.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Relief, Support, and Economic Security Act provided:

  • Allocating nearly $14 billion to support students and post-secondary institutions;
  • Allocating $6.28 billion to provide cash grants to students to cover the costs of disruptions to their education due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including educational materials and technology, as well as food, housing, health care, and child care;
  • Additional insurance for students in the event of illness or exposure to the coronavirus.

Under the Act, funding was available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

The Act also allowed for additional federal resources for technology infrastructure to support distance learning for students and professional development for teachers who teach remotely.


Unlike many countries around the world, Germany not only objectively approached the coronavirus pandemic more prepared organizationally, economically, and socially, but also responded without delay with a comprehensive and comprehensive response, preventing the epidemiological situation from escalating.

The traditionally high capacity of the health care system and adequate steps taken by the government made it possible to successfully cope with the large number of infected patients without being overwhelmed, the best proof of which was the relatively low mortality rate.

The strong economy has allowed the government to adopt a package of business support and social assistance to citizens unprecedented in its scope and volume, which has mitigated the economic impact of the contagion.

General measures

Germany's acknowledged success in combating the pandemic was largely due to the existence of a special plan in the event of such a situation - in particular, the state of emergency laws from 1968, as well as the Infectious Diseases Protection Act of 2001, which regulate the epidemiological surveillance competencies of the federal government and regional authorities, had been applied.

In addition, the Robert Koch Institute had centrally issued updated detailed recommendations for the fight against coronavirus infection, including both practical steps to protect the population and guidelines for the healthcare system, which were followed by all healthcare institutions in the country.

A quarantine was declared in the country on March 23, 2020, a ban was imposed on gatherings of more than two people, and schools and other public places were closed. In addition, each region of Germany had a high degree of autonomy in the fight against the pandemic and set its own additional rules, penalties and level of control depending on the epidemiological situation. The grounds for liability for violating the restrictions, the amounts of fines, and forms of punishment varied considerably among the regions, although legally they are based on a single federal law on protection against infectious diseases.

Regions had to ensure that in a single district or city of state subordination the number of new cases of infection did not exceed 50 people per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days.

Citizens and businesses support measures

The German federal government had taken a number of measures to directly support citizens in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a key element of which was to maintain employment and income levels:

  • Facilitated workers' access to benefits under the Reduced Hours Compensation Program through the end of 2020. Benefit payments were increased: citizens whose working hours were reduced by 50% are paid 70% of their fixed net compensation (77% for households with children) beginning in the fourth month of receiving the benefit, and 80% (87% for households with children) beginning in the seventh month;
  • Changes were made to the Law on Working Hours: as an exception, working hours can be increased (up to 12 hours instead of 10), the rest periods between two working days are reduced (9 hours instead of 11), the possibility to engage workers on Sundays and on public holidays was introduced. The measure is calculated till end of June;
  • Access to basic income was simplified, especially for the self-employed and the representatives of the arts;
  • Compensation was paid for citizens who could not continue to work because of quarantine or COVID19 infection. Compensation for loss of income was paid on the basis of the Infection Protection Act.

There were also a number of social support measures that were not related to labor activity:

  • A moratorium on eviction was introduced. Citizens were given the right to defer payments for gas, electricity, and telephone;
  • The procedures for obtaining child benefits for low-income families was simplified. The level of income for the last month was considered as a basic indicator (previously the level of income for 6 months was calculated);
  • Citizens forced to stay at home to care for a child due to school closures were paid up to 67% of the lost income, but not more than 2016 euros per month and for up to six weeks, to single parents for up to 20 weeks;
  • For workers in key industries child care was provided in kindergartens and schools. This measure could be extended to other groups and professions if child care assistance was needed;
  • Social support for teachers and students was provided for the continuation of federal government education grants (BAföG) even in cases when teaching in schools or universities was suspended;
  • Nearly 540 social institutions received additional funding to expand social assistance to those in need. A one-time bonus of 1,000 euros was provided for caregivers of elderly people.

According to calculations by the Brussels-based international think tank BRUEGEL, Germany was in many cases far ahead of other developed nations in terms of budgetary expenditures to support the economy and prevent the spread of infection.

Thus, direct fiscal stimulus measures reached a total of €346 billion (10.1% of GDP), tax and other payment deferrals reached €500 billion (14.6% of GDP), and other liquidity mechanisms, including government guarantees, reached €932 billion (27.2% of GDP). According to official statistics, Germany's GDP in 2019 was 3,435.2 billion euros.

The most significant business support measures in financial terms included:

  • 50 billion euros in direct subsidies for self-employed and microenterprises (up to 15,000 euros per company);
  • 10 billion euros for additional compensation under the reduced working hours program (Kurzarbeitergeld);
  • 3.1 billion euros annually for the period 2021-2024 for additional investments in the private sector;
  • 2 billion euros to expand funding for startups, new technology companies and small businesses;
  • 33.5 billion euros in the form of tax credits and other reductions in tax revenues;
  • 500 billion euros in tax deferrals, including 70 billion euros in deferrals of direct corporate income taxes, and 430 billion euros in indirect taxes and social contributions (based on expert estimates Bruegel);
  • 400 billion euros for guarantees and liquidity support companies within the program of the Economic Stabilization Fund.

In addition, similar measures of tax and credit and guarantee support to businesses of at least 140 billion euros were widely adopted by the regional and local authorities.

An important aspect of the government's support for business was a collective request for additional conditions. In particular, back in March, before the international conference "Petersberg Climate Dialogue," a group of 68 major German companies proactively asked the government to ensure that business support measures meet the goals of the Paris climate agreements. Prime Minister Merkel also confirmed that climate change issues were among the priorities of Germany's presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2020, and that sustainable development and environmental protection would be at the core of Europe-wide plans for economic recovery.

Healthcare system

Germany was in the 8th place among the most COVID-19 affected countries. But, the mortality rate (the ratio of victims to the total population) there was several times lower than in many Western European countries: 100 people per million inhabitants. The lethality rate in Germany (number of victims in relation to the number of COVID-19 cases) was also lower than in many countries: 4.6%. This is due to several factors.

  • The inherently high capacity of the health care system. Germany had a large number of intensive care beds (it was second in the world for this indicator as recently as 2016), and a sufficient number of nursing staff (third in the world). Germany had great potential to produce medical equipment and drugs domestically. According to various figures, German health care spending in 2019 amounted to between 7% and 11% of GDP, and as part of anti-crisis support measures, hospitals received funding of more than 3 billion euros.
  • The health care system was prepared in advance for the large number of patients. Hospitals provided additional places to get infected patients, emergency schedules for doctors and nursing staff were made, and masks, protective suits, and medications were stocked. On March 12, 2020 the Ministry of Health of the Federal Republic of Germany ordered 10 thousand artificial lung ventilation devices in addition to the 25 thousand devices that were already available in Germany.

On March 16, a law was introduced to make care beds for COVD-19 patients: scheduled surgeries were temporarily postponed; regional and local governments were allowed to set up hospitals for patients not suffering from COVID-19 in hotels and gymnasiums.

The government payed hospitals an extra €560 per day for each empty bed reserved for a COVID-19 patient, and €50,000 in one lump sum for each additional Intensive Care Unit bed created. German medical associations had launched a joint Internet service, the DIVIIntensivregister, through which physicians could find empty beds in intensive care units across the country.

On March 13, 2020, the federal states began distributing injunctions to close schools and kindergartens and postpone the start of academic semesters. These measures affected about 11 million school students and 2.9 million students at German universities.


On March 13, 2020, the federal states began distributing injunctions to close schools and kindergartens and postpone the start of academic semesters. These measures affected about 11 million school students and 2.9 million students at German universities.

The number of students in class was halved, "one-way traffic" was introduced in the school corridors, social distance rules had to be observed during recess, teachers wore masks, and windows and doors were open for ventilation.

The poorest students, who received benefits during their studies, were given the opportunity to increase their income by participating in pandemic measures, without affecting the financial support they receive.

On April 30, 2020, the Federal Minister of Education, A. Karlichek, announced that the federal government would provide 100 million euros in emergency support for students through a special emergency fund overseen by the German National Association for Students (DeutschesStudentenwerk).

On April 15, Chancellor A. Merkel announced an extension of the restrictive measures against COVID-19 until May 3, 2020, however, on April 20, 2020, universities began their summer semester remotely.

On May 06, 2020, the federal government and the regional governments agreed that the federal states would independently decide whether to resume face-to-face classes, depending on the epidemiological situation and the characteristics of each region.

Reactions of people

The number of those infected with the coronavirus continued to grow worldwide. Covid-19 was detected in 76 countries. There are no special drugs against it, and vaccines are controversial. Some believe that the coronavirus is not worth their concern, while others warn of the inevitability of universal infection.

People's opinions vary and influence people's behavior. Some people believe that the quarantine is really effective and stick to it. After all, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Covid-19 Working Group calculate that to stop the disease, you need to trace 70-90 percent of a patient's contacts. Although, even this strategy will only work if less than one percent of new cases are transmitted before the carrier has the first symptoms of the disease.

Others do not understand how measures can help and argue about the benefits of not only quarantine, but also of medical masks. For example, according to Academician Vitaly Zverev, Head of the Department of Microbiology, Virology, Immunology of the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, medical masks do not protect against viruses as reliably as is commonly believed.

One of the questions that concerns scientists and statesmen concerns whether it is possible to predict the behavior of people and thereby divide society into contingent societies or groups. And, if this is possible, what these groups are, and what might be the relationship of these groups to one another. In dealing with this question, it is useful to examine the work of Elinor Ostrom, the American political scientist and economist and 2009 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics.

Chapter 2

Elinor Ostrom and her work on collective action

On October 12, 2009, American researcher and professor Bloomington Elinor Ostrom won her first Nobel Prize in Economics. It was recognized for her work in economic governance, especially community management.

In many groups, the common objective is to establish cooperation between individuals, social groups and organizations. Very often, however, neither cooperation nor interaction result from a conflict of individual and collective, private, and public interests. Such conflicts often take the form of a social dilemma, that is, situations where personal, private interests in a society prevail over collective, public interests and the desire to realize them, lead to the disintegration of the group, collective success and well-being.

Each member of the group must contribute to the work, products or money for the common good. The fact that a potential user needs the results of such actions does not guarantee their participation. Finally, the expected impact is the collective effort as a whole and can be achieved through various cost-sharing options: staff efforts, cash contributions, and so on. Maximizing their own supply function, each of these staff members tries to minimize their share of the costs. Interest in public goods is therefore compatible with non-participation in class actions required to obtain these services.

The main disputes arise because of the uneven efforts expended by members of the group to solve a common problem. Such dilemmas are sometimes called blind dilemmas. The simplest example of such a dilemma is that everyone using public transport benefits from a trip without a ticket. However, if everyone travels without tickets, nothing will support public transport. In most social situations, the dilemma is that each actor can benefit without investing in the conditions for such interaction. If the majority behaves this way, these conditions will eventually disappear, because the immediate personal interests of "free riders" - "get something for free or capture it at the expense of other members of the group - causes loss of motivation for the whole group and reduces collective efficiency. Accordingly, the group as a whole faces the challenge of developing rules to overcome the dilemma of "blind passengers". Solutions to this problem can be found in various areas of activity.

Although the methodology of the theory of collective action was not actively used in the writings of Russian scientists, it has nevertheless served as the basis for an increasing number of studies in recent years. For example, in the works of Russian economists F.T.Alaskerov [Алескеров Ф.Т., Хабина Э.Л., Шварц Д.А. Бинарные отношения, графы и коллективные решения. 2006], [Асемоглу Д., Егоров Г., Сонин К. Теория формирования политических коалиций. – 2006], A.A.Auzan [Аузан А.А. Переучреждение государства: общественный договор. – М.: Издательство «Европа», 2006], Daron Acemoglu, G.Egorov, K.Sonin [Алескеров Ф.Т., Ортешук П. Выборы. Голосование. Партии. – Москва. – 1995], A.E.Shatista [Шаститко А.Е. Неоинституциональная экономическая теория. Второе издание. – М.: ТЕИС, 1999] such as conditions for electoral political participation in referendums, formation of parties, federal government issues and lobbying.

Elinor Ostrom's Career

Elinor Ostrom, Professor of Political Science at the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at the University of Indiana, was also with her husband, major political scientist Vincent Ostrom, co-founder and chief researcher of Indiana - a unique international center for political theory and political analysis. Ostrom also founded the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University and in 1973, as a professor at the University of Indiana, initiated seminars on political theory and political analysis with Professor V. Ostrom.

Elinor Ostrom was elected as a president of the Public Choice Society from 1982 to 1984 and a president of the Political Sciences Association from 1996 to 1997. From 1980 to 1984, she was the first woman to head the Department of Political Science at Indiana University.

In 1997, Ostrom was awarded the Frank Seidman Prize for Outstanding Achievements in Political Economics, which had been awarded annually since 1974 by a committee of American scholars to economists who have contributed to the development of political economy, that improved human lives.

During her research, Ostrom attempted to answer the following questions:

  • How to integrate findings in cognitive science with models for exploring and explaining human choice in different institutional settings, including social dilemmas, collective choice problems, bureaucracies, and complex interrelated social relations?
  • How do institutions receive the information that an individual needs in order to make a decision?
  • What biases, or lack thereof, influence collective decision making?
  • How do different preferences change through interactions with different institutional structures?
  • How does rational choice theory affect local government?

From the beginning of her professional career, Elinor Ostrom worked to solve the problem of collective action. For her doctoral thesis, she chose a topic that was very relevant in Southern California: water management. In 1945, some residents of West Los Angeles noticed that water quality had deteriorated in one of the city’s main springs. It turned out that salt water was peering into the water, and several activists had organized an association to address the problem. They brought another case to court, developed a new set of rules for water management, organized financing and replenishment of water supplies. In her work, Ostrom noted that if the salt water invasion had lasted several years, this situation could not have been corrected. She stressed that this example showed that no matter how divided the city’s residents were, they could develop rules to address the problem of collective action and financing the creation of a public good.

Elinor Ostrom studied the issues of self-organization and local government, as well as the impact of these processes on the conservation of state resources, both natural (e.g., forests) and artificial (e.g., police). Combining data from a variety of sources, from classical research methods to modern technologies such as satellite imagery, Ostrom developed a set of principles that support sustainable development in management, challenging traditional theories.

Questions of common pool resource management

Elinor Ostrom focused her work on managing common goods, including natural resources. It did not share the widely held view that local management of public goods was highly ineffective and that those functions should be either carried out by the central Government, or privatized. Based on numerous studies of fisheries, rangelands, forests, lakes and waters managed by the users themselves, Ostrom showed that in many cases the results were much better than standard theories predicted. She suggested that resource users themselves are increasingly developing sophisticated and effective decision-making mechanisms and management policies in general, aimed in particular at collective action. At the same time, Elinor Ostrom believed that the fact that her work had led many people to advocate decentralization was a wrong simplification of their conclusions.

The methods by which Ostrom collected information were unique and included theoretical models, official statistics and innovative case studies.

In her research, Elinor Ostrom collected many examples of public goods management from around the world. Its main objective was to compare the management of the various public funds at the local level and to develop basic rules for the successful management of these funds. As a result, it was shown how in all three types of property (collective, private and public) governance can be either effective or ineffective, depending on the situation.

In 1990, Elinor Ostrom’s research was presented in the book “Management Society: The Evolution of Collective Action Institutions” [Ostrom E. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. New York // Cambridge University Press. 1990], which rejected the widely held view that State control or privatization as such offers the best way to manage State property. The work has shown that the results of the creation of public goods depend not on the form of ownership itself, but on the rules of the creation and use of public goods.

In this work, Elinor Ostrom provided a unique empirical database that allowed her to investigate the conditions under which the topic of resource-sharing was resolved and remained unresolved. Ostrom described the three models most commonly used in choosing between private and public property, and then named theoretical and empirical alternatives to these models, analyzing the variety of possible solutions. The paper provided an institutional analysis of the various policy options, both successful and unsuccessful, that were used to create public goods; concluding that public resource problems can sometimes be solved voluntarily by different organizations, rather than by coercion through state structures. Examples discussed in this paper were mostly about forest and rangeland management, fisheries and urban irrigation.

After the release of “Community Governance: The Evolution of Collective Action Institutions”, Elinor Ostrom began to explore specific types of resources. She started working with colleagues in Nepal and worked with them to create a large database on irrigation. The study showed that systems managed by farmers are more successful than those managed by the State. In 1992, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) requested Ostrom to undertake a study on forest resources. She then worked for some time under the International Program on Forests and Institutions.

Institutions and collective action in works of Elinor Ostrom

In the analysis of collective action (for example, the creation of social capital and collective action» [Theoret J. Constituting social capital and collective action. Polit. 6(4): 527-62, 1994]) Ostrom describes the relationship between individual rights and social norms.

According to Ostrom, each category of rules determines a set of rights, in particular, the rules of collective action and opertional rules. The Operational Rules define the relationship between people in terms of the use of scarce resources and income distribution, and the rules of collective action in turn determine how operational rules are changed and applied. The rules of collective action are therefore considered to be more important.

In addition to the basic classification, Ostrom proposed the following more detailed typology of rules:

  • Positional or official;
  • Boundary rules governing the procedure for the selection and removal of participants from these positions;
  • Rules of scope or sphere of influence; Establishment of a set of results that can be influenced;
  • Rules on powers defining measures prescribed by authorities;
  • Rules on aggregation defining decision-making functions; rules on information defining channels of communication between participants.

According to the rules classification, there are corresponding rights - operational and collective. Company rights include access and supply rights. Its specific content is defined by the rights to collective action (rights to governance or isolation).

The peculiarity of the proposed acute classification is that each subsequent entitlement implies the obligatory possibility to implement the previous one. For example, having an exemption power provides the means to determine the direction in which the resource is used, and conversely, the authority of the office does not provide the means to identify the categories of persons who may be entitled to access the resource.

In another interesting work [Ostrom E., Walker J. & Gardner R. Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources, Ann Arbor // University of Michigan Press. 1994] published in 1994, Elinor Ostrom examined and analyzed the behavior of individuals in a situation of the need to manage common resources. The main method of publishing analysis was to integrate game theory into a larger institutional structure. The point is that interaction in society is not presented as a game with set rules, but as a game in which the rules are first chosen, and then the participants themselves make a decision. The issue of collective action could then be resolved. The primary approach for testing and evaluating such models was the use of field and experimental data. By testing formal models in a controlled experimental laboratory environment, Ostrom was able to analyze in more detail the conditions under which classical results of game theory were validated and disproved.

For example, Elinor Ostrom presented three options for establishing rules in the area of fisheries, where conflicts often occur, since international conventions may contradict each other. In addition, conflicts between fishermen were becoming more frequent in coastal and inland waters, where ownership and use rights were not defined. One example cited by the author described how, in December 1970, 50 fishing trawlers off the north-west coast of West Malaysia sighted 10 boats from neighboring villages, caught one and burned it. Local trawlers and fishers preferred to fish within three miles of the coast, even though trawlers were not permitted to enter the area under local legislation. The trawlers ignored those rules, in other words, in that situation, the predefined rules were not effective. Between 1970 and 1971, over 40 boats have sunk and at least 9 fishermen have lost their lives. To resolve the conflict, the Malaysian government had dispatched troops to the region and more than 20 people had been imprisoned without trial. It all resulted in a five-year conflict.

Those instances of violence occurred not only in waters of Malaysia, but also took place in the waters of the Great Lakes, the English Canal and the North Sea. The conclusion was obvious: authorities may try to establish regulations or enact legislation on fisheries in certain areas, but if the fishermen themselves do not recognize this legislation as effective, they will act as if these laws did not exist.

In many other areas, however, fishers were able to develop a set of rules that strike the right balance in their attitudes and activities. The classic rule of determining access to resources - «The one who is first is the one who is right» was used by fishermen in Canada, India and Brazil. According to it, the first team, installing a net in a certain fishing spot, had the right to continue fishing until the end of the season. In northeastern Brazil, a different method of interaction was used, the one called declarative. That regulation was invented many years ago and was at variance with local legislation, under which coastal waters were shared by all fishers. Near the town of Bahia, fishermen marked 258 fishing spots on the map, some of which were given to the captains of fishing boats for permanent use. The fishermen agreed that captains from other villages may occasionally fish in these areas, announcing this at local meetings in advance, and pointing out where to fish on maps at local bars. Another way for fishermen to interact was through the use of rotation agreements for most fishing ground rights (for example, in Alanya, Turkey, fishermen successfully applied those rules).

All four methods of fishery allocation described, demonstrate the diversity of regulatory decisions and the involvement of public authorities in the processes. This again means that, the way the rules are set, combined with the existing reality, can change the structure of the game and affect the balance between participant interaction and profit sharing.

Elinor Ostrom was able to assess the generalizability of results from controlled experiments by analyzing empirical studies in fisheries, forestry, irrigation systems, and reservoirs. She proved that some results were consistent with the generally accepted tenets of the theory and some were out of the general context. Based on assessed results, she formulated new principles of individual behavior under conditions of shared resource management distinct from those previously used in economics.

In 1998, the “American Political Science Review” published Elinor Ostrom’s work titled "A Behavioral Approach to the Theory of Rational Choice in Collective Action". [Mancur O. The logic of collective action: Public goods and the theory of groups. Cambridge. Mass// Harvard University Press. 1965]. In it, Ostrom argued that a large body of empirical evidence and new theoretical approaches in various fields stimulated the need to extend the rational choice model, including its further use in the study of social dilemmas and collective behavior. After a brief overview of the problem of overcoming social dilemmas through collective action, Ostrom divided this article into his six main parts. The first section contained an analysis of how rational choice theory applied to social dilemmas. The second assessed the possibility of relying entirely on rationality models developed on the basis of experimental studies. In the third section, Elinor Ostrom discussed her two main findings of empirical research. It showed how individuals achieve more rational choice outcomes by constructing “systems in which traits such as reciprocity, reputation, and trust foster a strong bias toward the short term”.

In the fourth section, Ostrom explored the possibility of developing second generation rationality models, and in the fifth section developed the first simple scenario. In the final chapter, Elinor Ostrom showed how important it is to include reciprocity, reputation and trust, based on empirically validated behavioral theories of collective action.

In 2000, “Multicenter Games and Institutions: Works in Political Theory and Political Analysis"[ Ostrom E. Polycentric games and institutions: readings from the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Institutional analysis, Michael Dean McGinnis, Indiana University, Bloomington. Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis University of Michigan Press. 2000] appeared. Elinor Ostrom was one of its authors. The work compiled the work of participants in the” Political Theory and Political Analysis Seminar” at Indiana University. This issue contained several versions of institutional analysis. Each publication used game theory methods and aimed to address a key set of questions about institutions and autonomy.

Collective action and the evolution of Social Norms

In summer, 2000, Elinor Ostrom published her work on “Collective action and the evolution of Social Norms”. In this particular work, Ostrom explored rational choice and gave general conclusions about collective action situations. Numerous experimental games had been run for public good under various conditions. There were found seven general conclusions as basic facts that the theory must explain.

  • Subject donates 40-60% of his wealth to the common good in the first round of a one-time or infinitely repeated game.
  • Contributions have been trending downward since the first round, but remain above zero. Over 70% of his subjects contributed nothing in the last round of the infinitely repeating sequence.
  • People who believe others will cooperate in social dilemmas are more likely to cooperate themselves.The dominant strategy is zero contribution, no matter what others are doing.
  • In general, learning the game better leads to more collaboration, not less collaboration.
  • Face-to-face communication leads to increased collaboration, which persists for all periods including the final period.
  • If the structure of the game permits, actors expend personal resources to punish those who contribute below average to the common good.
  • The level of contribution to the common good depends on the formulation of the situation and the rules used to allocate participants, promote competition among participants, enable communication, impose sanction mechanisms, or distribute benefits.

Ostrom also built a Theory of Collective Action with Multiple Types of Players. The existence of "norm-using" actors, for example, "conditional cooperators" and "punishment-willing" actors, alongside rational egoists was difficult to argue in the light of empirical evidence. The key question was how these types of players could emerge and survive in a world of rational egoists.

  • Emergence and Survival of Multiple Player Types During the process of Evolution: recent developments in evolutionary theory supported the proposition that modern humans inherited a tendency to learn social norms.
  • An indirect evolutionary approach to experiential adaptation: people who value fairness and trust subjectively measure changes in behavior that conform or do not conform to their norms.
  • Evidence for an indirect evolutionary approach: the indirect evolutionary approach confirms that not all actors find themselves in situations of collective action as purely rational egoists making decisions based solely on their individual outcomes. Some bring a set of norms and values that can support collaboration. On the other hand, these normative preferences can be altered by negative experiences.
  • Nature of production and distribution functions;
  • Availability of leadership.
  • The emergence of self-organized collective behavior: some individuals initially tend to follow the norm of reciprocity. Once a small group of users know each other, they can begin the process of collaborating without having to create an organization with rules that they may need later. The presence of a leader is often an important first incentive for improving collaboration outcomes.
  • Design principles for long-lived, self-organizing resource regimes: a successful self-organized resource regime can rely on established norms of trust and the presence of local leaders, and is characterized by a set of design principles.
  • Threats to sustainable collective action: large-scale migration (to or from an area) is always a threat. Because collective action is based on mutual trust, migration can bring new participants who do not trust others and cannot readily adopt social norms. Alternatively, it could alter the regime's economic viability by losing the people who provide it with the resources it needs.

However, the norms learned differ from culture to culture. The intrinsic cost or suffering of not following social norms is called guilt if it occurs naturally, and shame if the failure is known by others.

It is also helpful to remember that most contractual relationships, whether private or public goods, seek to at least ensure mutual trust.

Social norms can also cause individuals to behave differently in the same objective situation, depending on how much they value following (or deviating from) the norm.

Several other recent experimental studies supported the idea that external rules and controls are able crowd out cooperative behavior. Moreover, norms have the power to increase the desire for cooperative behavior over time, whereas cooperation imposed by external rules can quickly wear off.

According to Ostrom, the level of collaboration can vary from very high to very low in different contexts. Different contextual variables were also identified as favorable or unfavorable for collective behavior. These include:

· Predictability of resource flow;

· Size of the groups involved;

· Dependence on the good of the group;

· The amount of collective gross benefit;

· The possibility of participation and the choice of participation or non-participation;

Conclusions from empirical field of research were that when a user of a shared resource wants to create and enforce his own rules, he is more likely to use his resources locally more sustainably than if the rules are imposed from outside.

The next chapter of Elinor Ostrom’s work was dedicated to a common pool resource. It is a natural or man-made system that produces a profit stream and that is costly for beneficiaries to exclude; also, one person's consumption reduces the amount of profit available to others. Users of shared pool resources face a first level dilemma. Each person prefers to have resources controlled by others while everyone is free to use them. Second level dilemma is trying to change these rules.

If a user group can define its composition (which includes users who agree to use resources according to rules and users who do not agree to those rules), groups take an important first step toward building more trust.

Evolutionary theory helps explain how these principles help sustain and foster cooperation over the long term.

1. The first design principle is to have clear boundary rules. Applying this principle helps participants know who is worth working with.

2. The second design principle is that local regulations limit the extent, time and technology of resource extraction, and that profits are shared according to the costs involved. Well-designed rules help account for the persistence of the resource itself. Note, however, that a single set of rules defined for all systems in a region cannot solve the specific administrative problems of each similar system.

3. The third design principle is that most people can participate in the creation and modification of rules. Such a resource regime can develop fair and adaptive rules. Those who break such rules suffer not only disgust but also social shame. At the same time, fair distribution rules help build trust.

4. The fourth design principle is that most long-lived resource regimes elect their own observers to monitor resource state and user behavior.

5. The fifth design principle indicates that these resource regimes apply sanctions according to the severity of the crime. However, in modes that use penalties like this, they inform people who intentionally or accidentally break the rules that others have noticed their violation.

6. The effectiveness of these principles is reinforced by the sixth design principle. This demonstrates the importance of fast, low-cost local arena access for resolving conflicts between users.

7. Users also often create their own rules without creating a formal government jurisdiction. This is the seventh design principle.

  • The eighth design principle is a characteristic of successful systems. The existence of management activities organized at multiple enterprise levels. In other words, smaller organizations tend to be nested within larger ones.

It may be also interpreted as: use graduated sanctions (design principle 5) when resource users create their own rules (design principle 3) that are enforced by, or are responsible for, local users (design principle 4) to determine who has the right to withdraw resources (Design Principle 1). , and effectively allocate costs relative to benefits (design principle 2), collective action and regimes of action can be effective.

In addition to rapidly changing populations, several other threats stand out. These include:

  • Government efforts to impose a uniform set of rules on all government agencies;
  • Lack of mechanisms to provide equitable and cost-effective ways to resolve disputes and insurance mechanisms for disaster relief.

2. Rapid changes in technology, availability of elements, and reliance on monetary transactions;

3. Failure to transmit the principles underlying self-organized governance across generations;

4. Frequent use of external resources;

5. International aid that does not take into account indigenous knowledge and institutions;

6. Increased corruption;


Laboratory experiments and studies confirmed that a significant number of situations may be successfully resolved with the help of group action. Recent developments in evolutionary theory (including the study of cultural evolution) provided a rationale for collaboration based on the evolution of social norms.

Future empirical and theoretical studies should focus on how institutional, cultural, and biophysical conditions influence the process of learning and the evocation of social norms. About informing participants about the behavior of others and their adherence to social norms, and about rewarding those who follow social norms.

Further developments in this direction are needed to develop public policies that encourage socially beneficial and cooperative behaviors that are based, in part, on social norms. It also allows individuals to better solve collective behavior problems by allowing them to create their own rules.

Chapter 3

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced governments around the world to implement strict measures to control the spread of the virus. These measures have included lockdowns, quarantines, social distancing, and mandatory face masks. However, people's reactions to these restrictions have been mixed. Some have been supportive, some have been indifferent, and some have been strongly opposed.

Russian, The United States, and German public health authorities, as well as government officials, carried out the obligatory instructions on how to avoid coronavirus with the help of security measures and vaccination.

Although the social norms were defined and clarified, people in all three countries split into three types of thinkers. The tool to analyze the behavior of different individuals in the situation of collective action is Elinor Ostrom’s theory.

According to Ostrom, one group of people that was very supportive of the restrictions were those who understood the public health risks. They had a good understanding of the science behind the virus and were aware of how easily it could spread. They believed that the restrictions were necessary for their and other people protection from infection. This group had been following the rules and had been encouraging others to do the same.

Another group of people that had been supportive of the restrictions were those who had experienced or witnessed the impact of Covid-19 on their loved ones. They had either lost someone to the disease or had seen them suffer from its debilitating symptoms. These people had a personal stake in the fight against the virus and understood the importance of following the guidelines to prevent further illnesses and deaths. They had been vocal in their support of the restrictions and had urged others to take them seriously.

There was another group of people – the ones who were indifferent to the restrictions. They had a relatively low level of concern about the virus and did not see the restrictions as necessary. This group had been less likely to follow the restrictions, and some had even been actively flouting the rules. Many of them felt that the restrictions were an infringement of their personal freedom and had been resistant to following them.

Finally, there was a group of people who had been strongly opposed to the restrictions. They saw the restrictions as unnecessary and harmful to the economy and their personal lives. They had been openly critical of the government's response to the pandemic and had been vocal in their opposition to the regulations. This group felt that the restrictions had been too strict and had hurt their ability to earn money for a living.