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'COVID-19 cases don't affect people's happiness, restrictions affect them more'

12 May 2020 11:13 AM
Tags:
happiness index
Lockdown
Covid 19
University of Johannesburg wellbeing economist professor Talitha Greyling reflects on what is currently making citizens unhappy.

In an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, South Africans are going through Level 4 national lockdown.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Monday that there were 637 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa, taking the tally to 10,652.

There were 12 new deaths countrywide with the North West recorded its first death, while the Western Cape had eight new deaths.

RELATED: UPDATE: COVID-19 death toll surpasses 200 and South Africa has 637 new cases

How has the spread of the virus and subsequent lockdowns affected people's sense of happiness?

Ray White on the Eusebius McKaiser Show chats to University of Johannesburg wellbeing economist professor Talitha Greyling.

We use Twitter where we extract tweets and measure the sentiments of these tweets and derive an algorithm which we use to predict or explain the happiness in the country.

Professor Talitha Greyling, Wellbeing economist - University of Johannesburg

She says their algorithm is used in real time to measure.

You need to realise that we have 11 million users in South Africa. On the lockdown we have a significant drop in happiness. We have also looked at what determines the happiness of people and the changes in happiness?

Professor Talitha Greyling, Wellbeing economist - University of Johannesburg

The latest study that was done produced very interesting results, she says.

Initially, there was a lot of support for the president when he announced the lockdown. Initially the number of COVID-19 cases decreased people's happiness but as time went on and people realised that the death rate was low, it seems that COVID-19 cases don't matter to people's happiness any longer and restrictions affect people more than the virus itself.

Professor Talitha Greyling, Wellbeing economist - University of Johannesburg

Listen below to the full conversation:


12 May 2020 11:13 AM
Tags:
happiness index
Lockdown
Covid 19

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