Perceptions and opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic in Flanders, Belgium: Data from a three-wave longitudinal study
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have become increasingly fearful of the disease as death tolls rise, while governments attempt to combat it by installing restrictive measures. News media play a vital role as they are the main sources from which people gather information regarding the disease and the public health measures. The present longitudinal data reflect a bird’s eye view of people’s fears towards getting ill, their news media consumption, and their attitudes regarding the (Belgian) government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Data were collected at three key moments in the pandemic among adults in Flanders, Belgium: in the middle of March (when the first restrictive measures went into effect; N = 1,000), early April (as hospital admissions and death toll peaked; N = 870), and at the end of May and beginning of June (as several measures were lifted or relaxed; N = 768). With only 23.2% drop-out across the three waves, these data may be of interest to researchers who wish to explore dynamics of fear and attitudes towards public health measures during this particularly challenging time.