Social Science Data on COVID-19 in Czechia and Slovakia
On November 29, 2021, the Czech Social Science Data Archive (CSDA) at the Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences (IS CAS) organised a webinar on sociological data about the COVID-19 pandemic in Czechia, the largest event of its kind to date. The latest data on the topic of COVID-19 in Czechia and Slovakia were presented. The participants learned about the European Social Survey (ESS), special studies of the Our Society series by the Public Opinion Research Centre (CVVM), the longitudinal research project Life during the Pandemic, a Czech pilot COVID-19 study under the Contemporary Czech Family research project (Generations and Gender Programme), antibody studies under the longitudinal research project PROSECO (RECETOX) and the IS CAS herd immunity research project (SARS-CoV-2-CZ-Preval-II), the College Students during the Pandemic study, and the research projects How Are You, Slovakia? and HODYSE 2020.
IS CAS sociologist Klára Plecitá collaborates on the European Social Survey (ESS), an international sociological project with long-term involvement of IS CAS representing the Czech Republic. The first results of the current ESS wave indicate the Czech population’s attitudes to the initial stages of the pandemic, allowing for international comparison across more than twenty European countries. The long-term effort of the Public Opinion Research Centre (CVVM) to monitor the Czech population’s attitudes to the pandemic situation was also presented by one of the panellists. Sociologist Naděžda Čadová introduced data for the time period from May 2020 to November 2021 that reveal a number of social trends and changes in the ways Czech residents followed the situation in the media, their concerns about the situation, or their attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination.
Sociologist Michaela Kudrnáčová (Röschová) of PAQ Research built her presentation on the vast body of data gathered by the company over the past approx. 18 months. PAQ’s long-term project, Life during the Pandemic, provides an important source of information on the epidemic in Czechia. The dataset covers a wide array of topics related to COVID-19 infections, vaccination, or government interventions in social and economic life. Sociologist and demographer Martin Kreidl of the Masaryk University introduced the Contemporary Czech Family research project by the Generations and Gender Programme. At the turn of 2020/2021, the project investigated the ways family and relationship dynamics were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the study’s numerous original findings is the fact that a considerable decline of relationship quality occurred during the pandemic.
Sociologists Miloslav Bahna and Katarína Strapcová of the Institute for Sociology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, acquainted participants with available data sources and important findings from Slovak sociological studies. The results of the PROSECO immunological study were presented Pavel Piler of the RECETOX Centre, Masaryk University. PROSECO studied the dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in the Czech population and found that 46 percent of Czechs had such antibodies in March 2021.
Sociologists Michaela Kudrnáčová and Jan Klusáček of CSDA focused on the specific population of college students. Their study of student attitudes and behaviours during the first (spring of 2020) and third waves (late spring of 2021) provides data that are unique in the Czech context. For example, they found that college students were considerably more in favour of vaccination than the population of young people aged 18–34 years. In addition, Jan Klusáček presented the herd immunity study, SARS-CoV-2-CZ-Preval-II, conducted by a group of institutions including IS CAS. To link the medical and sociological perspectives, this unique study applied biomedical methods to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in the Czech population while collecting sociologically relevant data on people’s behaviours and attitudes to vaccination and protective measures.
Some of the data presented are already available via CSDA or other European members of CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives). The remaining datasets will be made available for secondary analysis in the context of open science.