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Public Policy and Administration


Eliesh Lane


AbstractMany advances have been made in technology and medicine; however, humanity remains vulnerable to existing, emerging, and re-emerging infectious diseases that have a profound negative impact on our society. This study investigated how individuals balance socioeconomics, demographics, and religious views with their actual behavior in response to public health guidelines during an epidemic/pandemic. The participants' perceptions and experiences of a practical problem, how the public was asked to respond, and how the public ultimately responded to public health guidelines were explored. The theoretical model for the study, the polarity of democracy model, has been explored as a possible decision-making tool in achieving a unifying strategy and guide the discussion between opposite points of view to minimize risk and maximize benefits during the decision-making process. In this exploratory qualitative pragmatic study inquiry, a random sampling strategy was used. An open-ended semistructured online survey was used to address the posed research question, thirty individuals participated. The questionnaire contained open-ended questions with targeted key components directly related to the research questions. The completed questionnaires were collected electronically via Survey Monkey. The gathered data were analyzed using content analysis and coding. From the collected and analyzed data, it was clear that people's perception behavior is influenced by their situation and the desire to stay healthy physically and mentally through the pandemic. The data suggested positive social change may result from better involvement of the public and a multidisciplinary approach might bring better public health guidelines, and long-lasting response to an epidemic/pandemic.

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