COVID-19 Data Analysis-4.1 (Disaster Weathering/Civil Liberties) print   
joongmin  Email [2020-08-25 00:08:44]  HIT : 429  


Preference Between Disaster Weathering and Civil Liberties by Global Citizens


1.    Background

The conflict between the measurement of weathering disasters and protecting civil liberties has long been arising. The enforcement of controlling communicable diseases inevitably violates civil rights and liberties, and therefore, there was continuous friction between disaster responding governments and civil rights-focused citizens. At the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole globe is facing the endless choice between public health and individual liberties. In Wuhan, where the COVID-19 first started, a lockdown was imposed to quarantine the center of an outbreak of the virus. Gauden Galea, The World Health Organization (WHO) representative in China, said that it was beyond its own guidelines, nevertheless, sealing off Wuhan is a very important commitment to contain the epidemic.[1] Many of Western citizens and organizations, such as Amnesty International, was very skeptical of Chinese measurements in contact tracing, enforcing to wear masks, etc., criticizing that Chinese government violates human rights under the name of controlling the spread.[2] Besides, after the lockdown was lifted, the government enforced Wuhan citizens to take the COVID-19 test for no more infection and damage by asymptomatic carriers. However, as the pandemic worsened, similar measures were taken by many countries around the globe. For example, the South Korean government has been actively and rapidly doing the contact tracing and has made it open and transparent. Many western countries are speaking highly of the South Korean government’s response to the COVID-19. All in all, every single individual keeps considering the balance between disaster weathering and civil rights. Given this, comparing the preference between the two would help us to understand how global citizens deliberate during the COVID-19 pandemic era.


2.    Research Topic

At the time of COVID-19, the choice between the compulsory regulations on testing, wearing masks, quarantine, and voluntary suggestions is not simple. Advised voluntary isolation and monitoring are the superb options since the measurements could buttress civil rights in fighting against the disease, however, if citizens do not adhere to the recommendation, the consequences of not making these measurements compulsory could be catastrophic. For example, western countries had emphasized privacy and civil liberties, but the results in these countries were tragic, making millions of COVID-19 cases. Hence, sacrificing some civil rights is unavoidable and the government is ought to balance public safety and individual rights to satisfy the public. Therefore, in this section, we are going to discover global citizens’ preferences, and how the preferences differ by region.


3.    Questionnaire Used

Survey Question II-2-1: “It is the duty of a democratic state to protect the lives and health of the public and to ensure the fundamental freedoms of all citizens. In the current situation, what do you think is the most urgent task set before the government of your country?”

The answers consist of a 10-point scale, with higher scores indicating an individual who emphasizes more on basic civil rights and lower scores demonstrating a person who underlines overcoming a disaster to protect public health.


4.    Major Outcomes

Table 1: Distribution Table of Disaster Weathering and Civil Liberties Priority Scores


Disaster Weathering Priority                                               Civil Liberties Priority














Disaster Weathering Priority


Civil Liberties Priority
















The table indicates the percentage of how many global citizens have chosen the corresponding score. For instance, the number “21.0” demonstrates that 21% of global citizens have chosen the “1” answer. To illustrate, 21% of individuals around the globe highly put an emphasis on overcoming a disaster to protect public health. Likewise, the number “5.9” in the table means that 5.9% of people urgently put stress on basic civil rights. Also, the table shows that 65.5% of global citizens highlight overcoming a disaster rather than civil liberties, whereas 34.5% of people are in the opposite position.


Table 2: Civil Liberties Priority Index (CLPI) and Disaster Weathering Priority Index (DWPI) 
by Citizens of 28 Global Cities



For comparing which side is predominant in every single city, reverse scaling is used in this study. The average scores of each city indicate the Civil Liberties Priority Index (CLPI), and 11 minus CLPS demonstrates Disaster Weathering Priority Index (DRPI). The differences between the two were calculated in order to show the gap between disaster weathering and civil rights preferences.

Figure 1: Bar Graph of Civil Liberties Priority Index (CLPI) and Disaster Weathering Priority Index (DWPI) by Citizens of 28 Global Cities


This figure is a visualized version of Table 2, and the most outstanding finding of Figure 1 is that DWPIs are higher than CLPIs in all cities of our study. It illustrates that hurdling a disaster is put an emphasis during the COVID-19 by global citizens.

Figure 2: Bar Graph of Numerical Difference between Disaster Weathering Priority Index (DWPI) and Civil Liberties Priority Index (CLPI) by Citizens of 28 Global Cities


The differences between DWPI and CLPI are drawn as a bar graph, as shown in Figure 2. The first bar indicates the global average difference scores (2.12). The bigger the difference scores, the more citizens are weighing on overcoming a disaster. In this sense, Oslo citizens are accenting civil rights the most, followed by Berlin, Wellington, Hong Kong, and Paris. On the other hand, people in Manila have the least interest in basic rights but are focusing more on overcoming a disaster compared to other countries in the world. The top five highest difference scores are represented by Manila, Taipei, Singapore, Jakarta, and Lisbon, most of which are Asian countries. Moreover, all difference scores are positive numbers, which implies that all 28 cities are making much of getting through the disaster in the COVID-19 era.

Table 3: Average Civil Liberties Priority Index (CLPI) by Region


Average Civil Liberties Priority Index (1 – 10)

East Asia


Southeast/South Asia


North America




Latin America





The scores in the table are the Civil Liberties Priority Index (CLPI) of the global citizens by region. To be specific, the lowest score 3.93 was rated by Southeast and South Asian citizens in average. It demonstrates that people in this region tend to put more stress on disaster weathering than civil liberties compared to other regions in the world. On the contrary, the highest score 4.81 was rated by Oceanian citizens, which illustrates that people here highlight more on personal liberties than public health than other regions. Nonetheless, average scores by region are under score 5, which means that all global citizens tend to underline disaster weathering in general during the COVID-19 era.

Figure 3: Bar Graph of Average Civil Liberties Priority Index by Region

Figure 3 is the visualized graph of Table 3, and the orange line is the world average civil liberties priority index. The graph identifies that European and Oceanian citizens are inclined to prioritize individual liberties when compared to other regions in the world. On the other hand, Southeast/South Asian people are showing the least interest in civil rights.


5.    Summaries and Further Tasks

a.      Generally speaking, global citizens regard weathering a disaster as important.

b.     Global citizens prioritize disaster weathering than civil liberties during the COVID-19 era since the numeric difference scores of Disaster Weathering Priority Index (DWPI) and Civil Liberties Priority Index (CLPI) are positive.

c.      Oceanian and European average CLPIs are higher than the global average, indicating these two regions have high civil rights consciousness, whereas Southeast/South Asian average CLPI scored the lowest.

d.     The study is limited to descriptive research, and therefore, more detailed explanative investigation is required to further understand the global citizens consciousness presented above.

[1] Reuters, “Wuhan lockdown ‘unprecedented’, shows commitment to contain virus: WHO representative in China”, 2020-01-23. (2020.08.06)

[2] Amnesty International, “Explainer: Seven ways the coronavirus affects human rights”, 2020-02-05.


     16. COVID-19 Data Analysis-4.2 (Health Priority/Economy Priority)
     14. Opening Address : Media Briefing on COVID-19 Survey