Investigating and classifying sentiments of social media users (e.g., positive, negative) towards an item, situation, and system are very popular among the researchers. However, they rarely discuss the underlying socioeconomic factor associations for such sentiments. This study attempts to explore the factors associated with positive and negative sentiments of the people about reopening the economy, in the United States (US) amidst the COVID-19 global crisis. It takes into consideration the situational uncertainties (i.e., changes in work and travel pattern due to lockdown policies), economic downturn and associated trauma, and emotional factors such as depression. To understand the sentiment of the people about the reopening economy, Twitter data was collected, representing the 51 states including Washington DC of the US. State-wide socioeconomic characteristics of the people (e.g., education, income, family size, and employment status), built environment data (e.g., population density), and the number of COVID-19 related cases were collected and integrated with Twitter data to perform the analysis. A binary logit model was used to identify the factors that influence people toward a positive or negative sentiment. The results from the logit model demonstrate that family households, people with low education levels, people in the labor force, low-income people, and people with higher house rent are more interested in reopening the economy. In contrast, households with a high number of members and high income are less interested to reopen the economy. The accuracy of the model is good (i.e., the model can correctly classify 56.18% of the sentiments). The Pearson chi2 test indicates that overall this model has high goodness-of-fit. This study provides a clear indication to the policymakers where to allocate resources and what policy options they can undertake to improve the socioeconomic situations of the people and mitigate the impacts of pandemics in the current situation and as well as in the future.
Collection : COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv