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FEAR OF COVID-19 INFECTIONS IN CANADA: Germophobes, crowd-averse, fearless and other population segments
The Fears of Being Infected by the COVID–19 Virus in Canada: A Look At Germophobes, Crowd-Averse, Fearless and Other Population Segments
The fear of being infected by the COVID-19 virus is widespread in the Canadian population. This study examined the COVID-19 virus infection fears in a survey sample of 4,200 adult Canadians aged 15 years old and over during the confinement period of June 21-26, 2020 and collected by Statistics Canada. A marketing segmentation analysis was carried out using a roster of 13 perceived health risks items leading to the identification of typical fears and the profiling of five major segments present in the Canadian adult population: "Germophobes" (7%), "Crowd-Averse" (34%), "Fearless" (17%), "Outside "Bubble"-Averse" (18%), and ""Nursing Homes-Averse" (24%). Health risk items included a wide range of preoccupations such as visiting retirement homes, traveling by car or airplane, attending public events, shopping, eating out, seeing doctors and/or participating in sports or gyms. The five population segments were identified using a combination of principal component and k-means cluster statistical analysis. Marketing segmentation is a useful tool for decision makers to categorize population members and, by doing so, facilitate better public campaigns, help design messages, and implement changes that can promote more efficient ways to deal with the various societal consequences of the COVID-19 confinement.