COVID-19 Data Analysis-5.4 (Nationalism and Civilianism Index: Face Masks Equal Distribution) print   
joongmin  Email [2020-09-09 15:53:22]  HIT : 73  

Impact of a Face Masks Equal Distribution policy during the COVID-19


1.    Background

COVID-19 data analysis 5 series will focus on how emergency measurements during the COVID-19 influence the nationalism around the world. To illustrate, we will analyze the survey results of opinions of global citizens whether they perceive a certain policy will lead a country to nationalism or citizens’ cooperation. International cooperation is occasionally disturbed by countries with strong and offensive nationalism, and sometimes, even a central government cannot control the national outrage triggered by nationalistic sentiment. Even worse, irrational nationalism would bring about racism and xenophobia, which severely undermines the free and open market around the globe. On the contrary, cooperation among citizens and governments would enhance the effectiveness of abating the crisis and it will help fast recovery from an emergency to everyday life.

After the COVID-19 outbreak, face masks consumption was soaring, resulting in skyrocket price rising along with masks domination by some companies. The phenomenon harmed normal economic activity and public health. Thereafter, some governments initiated a mask policy, for instance, the South Korean government made a face mask distribution policy, which took effect on March 9th, 2020. In order to prevent a run on face masks, which have become a rare commodity in drugstores nationwide as a result of the virus scare, the government imposed new ruled on the distribution that mandate that each citizen can only buy two masks per week and only after undergoing identity checks at drugstores.


2.    Research Topic

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is of importance for a government to make a rapid measurement to fight against the virus. However, it is also of equal significance to think of ramifications of the emergency policies and people’s support. This section will analyze how global citizens see the face masks equal distribution policy, especially how people assess the policy’s influence on a country’s nationalism and civilianism during the COVID-19 crisis.


3.    Questionnaire Used

Survey Question II-7: “While fighting against a global pandemic like COVID-19, a country may begin to follow either a state-centric and chauvinist path, or a democratic path based on citizen participation. In terms of a face masks equal distribution policy, what direction do you expect the following policies/trends to take?”

The answers consist of a 10-point scale, with higher scores indicating an individual believes the policy will lead citizens to democratic/participatory citizenship and lower scores demonstrating a person acknowledges the measure will result in citizens’ state-centric/chauvinistic.


4.    Major Outcomes

Table 1: Masks Equal Distribution – Nationalism Index (MEDNI) and Masks Equal Distribution – Civilianism Index (MEDCI) by Citizens of 30 Global Cities


Respondents are asked to choose one score to represent their ideas on the question, and the average scores of each city indicate the Masks Equal Distribution – Civilianism Index (MEDCI). It demonstrates that how much do citizens of a city consider the face masks equal distribution policy will cause citizens’ cooperation and participation amid the crisis, and the higher the score is, the more individuals think highly of the policy. Meanwhile, the reverse scaling was used in the Masks Equal Distribution – Nationalism Index (MEDNI), which means that 11 minus MEDCI is the MEDNI. Similarly, the higher the MEDNI score is, the more a citizen speak ill of the policy under the democratic and liberal principles. Finally, the numerical differences between the two scores were calculated in order to show which side a city is putting more significance. To illustrate, the higher a numerical difference is, the more citizens of the city underscore the above-mentioned policy in the course of the pandemic crisis.

Table 2: Average Masks Equal Distribution – Civilianism Index (MEDCI) by Region


Average Masks Equal Distribution - Civilianism Index (1 – 10)

East Asia




Latin America


North America




South/Southeast Asia



The scores in the table are the average Masks Equal Distribution – Civilianism Index (MEDCI) of the global citizens by region. To be specific, the lowest score of 5.78 was rated by Oceanian citizens on average. It exhibits that people in this region least likely to deem that the face masks equal distribution policy will have a positive effect on civilianism compared to other regions in the world. On the contrary, the highest score of 6.59 was rated by Latin American citizens, which illustrates that people here are most likely to highlight a certain policy and believe the measurement would lead to citizens’ cooperation in society. Nevertheless, all regions MEDCI scores are very high since all the scores are higher than the median score of 5.50.

Figure 1: Bar Graph of Average Masks Equal Distribution – Civilianism Index (MEDCI) by Region


Figure 1 is the visualized graph of Table 2, and the orange line is the world average Masks Equal Distribution – Civilianism Index (MEDCI). Latin American citizens think very positively about the mask distribution policy is evidenced by the figure. These are generalized scored by region, and therefore, for more detailed analysis, let’s see each city’s score of MEDCI and MEDNI.

Figure 2: Line Graph of Masks Equal Distribution – Nationalism Index (MEDNI) and Masks Equal Distribution – Civilianism Index (MEDCI)


This figure is a visualized version of Table 1, and the most outstanding finding of Figure 2 is that MEDCI scores of all cities, except Taipei, Singapore, and Vienna, are higher than MEDNI scores, illuminating that almost every city citizens are showing a positive attitude toward the mask distribution policy. They believe the face masks equal distribution policy would lead cooperation among citizens nationally and globally. By contrast, citizens in Taipei, Singapore, and Vienna hold that the policy may lead citizens to state-centric and nationalism, and subsequently hampering collaboration during and after the COVID-19 era.

Figure 3: Bar Graph of Numerical Difference between Masks Equal Distribution – Civilianism Index (MEDCI) and Masks Equal Distribution – Nationalism Index (MEDNI)


The differences between MEDNIs and MEDCIs are drawn as a bar graph, shown in Figure 3. The orange bar indicates the global average difference score (1.06). Cities with negative numerical differences are marked with red bars, indicating citizens of that city believe that the face masks policy will lead a country to nationalism and prevent cooperation among people and countries; yet, cities with blue bars express that the masks policy is effective in a way of stimulating the cooperation and participation on preventing the further spread of the coronavirus.


5.    Summaries and Further Tasks

a.     Generally speaking, international society believes that the face masks equal distribution will have a positive impact on cooperation and civilianism.

b.     People in Taipei, Singapore, and Vienna think that the masks policy would lead citizens to state-centric and nationalism, and subsequently obstruct cooperation during and after the COVID-19. Except for these three cities, all global cities’ citizens reckon that the masks policy will positively influence civilianism and encourage people to cooperate and participate in preventing further spread of the virus.

c.     Latin American average MEDCI is higher than the global average, indicating people in this region think more positively on the mask equal distribution policy compared to other regions around the globe.

d.     The study is limited to descriptive research, and therefore, a more detailed explanative investigation is required to further understand the global citizens’ consciousness presented above. For instance, why citizens in Singapore, Taipei, and Vienna assume that the masks distribution policy may lead citizens towards state-centric and nationalism? Are there any common traits among these countries?

     75. Survey on Citizens in 30 Global Cities (The Second Media Briefing on COVID-19 Survey)