Rationale: India and the USA, the worst affected countries by COVID-19, experienced very different pandemic courses. By 2020, COVID-19 cases had steadily declined in India, whereas the fight continued in the US. The people of India and the USA perhaps perceived threats very differently, influenced by their knowledge, available healthcare facilities, and social security. We conducted an online survey study to compare COVID-related perceptions between Indian participants (IND-P) and US-based participants (US-P). Methods: COVID-related perceptions such as stress, knowledge, and preventive behaviors were measured with specific questionnaires, and normalized scores were computed. T-tests were used to compare the perception scores, while the Kruskal-Wallis-H (KWH) tests were used to compare socioeconomic distributions between participants from two countries. Generalized linear model (GLM) adjusted for sociodemographic confounders estimated the association between the country of residence and COVID-perception. Results: The IND-P (N = 242) were younger and male-dominated compared with the US-P (N = 531) (age: KWH = 97.37, p < 0.0001, gender: KWH = 140.38, p < 0.0001). Positive attitudes toward preventive guidelines were associated with higher perceived risk and stress (r = 0.35, p < 0.001, and r = 0.21, p < 0.001, respectively) but not with the knowledge (r = −0.05, p = 0.14). Compared with the US-P, the IND-P had lower knowledge (5.19 ± 1.95 vs. 7.82 ± 1.35; t-test: p < 0.0001), higher stress (7.01 ± 1.51 vs. 6.07 ± 1.61; t-test: p < 0.0001), and better adherence to preventive guidelines (8.84 ± 1.30 vs. 8.34 ± 2.09; t-test: p = 0.0006). GLM demonstrated a significant association between the country and COVID-perception scores. Conclusion: The IND-P experienced higher stress and perceived threat during COVID-19 than the US-P, perhaps due to a lack of faith in the healthcare system and insecurity. Despite lower knowledge, the IND-P had better acceptance of preventive guidelines than the US-P.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health