Stephen: People more likely to practice physical distancing if friends, family do

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It turns out we’re influenced by our friends and family when it comes to following social distancing recommendations during the pandemic. British researchers looked at data from thousands of people from hundreds of countries and found that those who thought their close social circle adhered to distancing guidelines were more likely to do the same. The influence of others even outweighed whether people personally thought distancing was the right thing to do. Researchers say using social media to let family and friends know that you’re following COVID-19 safety guidelines could encourage them to do the same, and also that public health messages from trusted people could emphasize collective values, such as doing things for the benefit of loved ones and the community.

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