The COVID-19 pandemic eroded system support but not social solidarity

Alexander Bor*, Frederik Jørgensen, Michael Bang Petersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


While the World was busy mitigating the disastrous health and economic effects of the novel coronavirus, a less direct, but not less concerning peril has largely remained unexplored: the COVID-19 crisis may have disrupted some of the most fundamental social and political relationships in democratic societies. We interviewed samples resembling the national population of Denmark, Hungary, Italy and the US three times: in April, June and December of 2020 (14K observations). We show that multiple (but not all) measures of support for the political system decreased between April and December. Exploiting the panel setup, we demonstrate that within-respondent increases in indicators of pandemic fatigue (specifically, the perceived subjective burden of the pandemic and feelings of anomie) correspond to decreases in system support and increases in extreme anti-systemic attitudes. At the same time, we find no systematic trends in feelings of social solidarity, which are largely unaffected by changes in pandemic burden.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0288644
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2023


  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Disasters
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2


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