Understanding Public Complacency Practices In Times Of COVID-19 Lockdowns In The City Of Harare, Zimbabwe. A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective
Volume 5 - Issue 3, March 2022 Edition
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Zvimekria Clive Mukushwa, Marshall Samugwede
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Lockdowns, Public complacency.
The purpose of this article is to contextually understand and examine in-depth the phenomenon of public complacency in times of COVID-19 lockdowns in the City of Harare (Zimbabwe). COVID-19 pandemic was first reported in China (Wuhan) in late 2019 before its global spread. It has undoubtedly become one of the newest, highly transmissible and deadliest threat to global human health as well as to democratic freedom. To minimise its spread, most global governments devised a mélange of COVID-19 lockdown measures but nevertheless the phenomenon of public complacency has become a global wicked problem. Researches that examine public complacency on COVID-19 lockdowns are still scarce and emerging. Hence, this article is critical as it provides an understanding and examination on this subject matter which ultimately contributes to extant theoretical literature on COVID-19 pandemic in this specific dimension. This study is largely qualitative and single-case study, which relied on key informant interviews and non-participant observations to collect data from cross-sectional participants. This was complemented with analytic desktop review of extant literature. The results indicate that COVID-19 lockdowns have seriously impacted on citizens’ freedom in terms of movements, participation and livelihood strategy activities. It further emerged that citizens are engaged in complacency practices because of invisibility of law enforcement agents, selective application of COVID-19 protocols, economic climate, the belief that inoculation is immunity to COVID-19, hunger or abject poverty and public denial to new normal of COVID-19. The article has proposed some recommendations to improve public adherence in times of COVID-19 lockdowns in the City of Harare and further afield. This article recommends a study to be conducted on how COVID-19 lockdowns affects the public from a socio-psychological dimension in urban setting.
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