6 in 10 already have a mask at home

April 28th 2020

Pre-teaching is fairly easy for just under half of participants in UAntwerp’s Great Corona Study

On 4 May, a mask will become mandatory in public transport and we will also wear one in busier places. 40% of Belgians don’t own a mask yet and 25% will make one themselves, according to the Great Corona Study by UAntwerp. 

Belgians are gradually losing their motivation to respect the corona measures. This is shown by the motivation barometer of UGent, one of more than thirty corona-related questionnaires currently running in our country. ‘People are experiencing fatigue strikes’, the scientists say. This is also reflected in the number of participants in the Great Corona Study of UAntwerp, co-designed by UHasselt, KU Leuven and ULB. 

‘The seventh wave of our questionnaire took place on Tuesday and 120,000 people took part’, Koen Pepermans (UAntwerp) says. ‘The questionnaire was filled in partially by 10,000 respondents. The number of participants is decreasing as the crisis continues, but at 120,000 it remains a very relevant questionnaire. We use the weighted data to, for example, make better predictions based on simulation models, and also to better estimate the health, economic and psychosocial impact of the evolving epidemic and the measures implemented.’ 

On Tuesday, two hot topics were included in the Great Corona Study: masks and pre-teaching. The most striking findings for each theme: 


  • Masks have been at the centre of corona news for several days. 40% of participating Belgians did not have a mask at home by Tuesday. 33% have ordered or will order one, 25% will make their own mask. 24% expect to get one through their employer, 13% count on their municipality.  

  • Older people tend to have more masks at home, both home-made (especially women) and bought masks. People who know patients with COVID-19 in their family or circle of friends are more likely than others to have already purchased masks.  

  • In West Flanders, more people count on getting a mask from their municipality or employer.  

  • Higher educated people are less inclined to wear a mask. In Brussels, Hainaut, Liège, Namur and Walloon Brabant, people are more likely to wear a mask. Here too, people are more likely to wear a mask if they know a patient with COVID-19. 


  • The first week of pre-teaching is over. 13% of participating parents say that it is not feasible to support their children. For 41% it is sometimes feasible, for 46% it is feasible without much difficulty.  

  • People in financially difficult situations report a lack of communication from schools more often. For example, 48% of families in financially difficult situations who have children in the seventh year of technical or vocational education say that communication with the school is largely absent. For the same young people in financially stable families, the figure is only 9%.  

Those interested in the wide range of interesting results from the Great Corona Study can visit https://corona-studie.shinyapps.io/corona-studie/. This new website, a project by Jonas Crèvecoeur (KU Leuven), shows a lot of graphs on the different sub-aspects of the questionnaire. Interested parties can thus easily see the evolution of a particular aspect over the weeks.