Understanding risk perceptions of the public is central for risk communications and infodemic management during emergency and preparedness planning as people’s behavior depends on how they perceive the related risks. This qualitative study aimed to identify and describe factors related to COVID19 risk perceptions of the public in Finland and to make this information readily available for those who communicate with the public during crises. The study is part of WG3.
The study was based on a dataset of over 10,000 comments on the Facebook and Twitter posts of the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) between March -May 2021. The data was analyzed qualitatively using thematic analysis. The study identified concepts linked with the pandemic risk perception that included knowledge, perceptions, personal experiences, trust, attitudes, and cultural values. The findings resulted in a framework of risk perceptions that can be used as taxonomy and a set of keywords to be used in social listening to monitor risk perception during future epidemics and pandemics.