The findings of this ongoing study reveal four common themes about the source of the coronavirus. Firstly, some respondents believed that this virus had transmitted from animals to humans and Chinese food habits were the main reason. On this point a respondent said, “It’s known to all that bat, snake, and rat contain a lot of germs and, I think, by eating these animals without proper processing Chinese people have spread the virus from animal to human” (37 years, an employee of the private insurance company, male).
Secondly, because of its novelty, some respondents perceived this virus was a biological weapon. For example, a 24 years old post-graduate male student mentioned, “I believe this virus has been genetically modified in an unknown lab and deliberately spread among humans to control the population”. On the same point, another respondent added, “It seems to me the coronavirus outbreak happened from the virology lab of Wuhan in China” (36 years, banker, female).
Thirdly, in contrast to the above viewpoints, another group of participants, who were more educated, perceived that this situation was a natural process and was happening in every 100 years. To emphasize this, a respondent argued, “If you go through the history of epidemics, you can easily find that in every 100 years the world has experienced virus attack like the plague in 1720, cholera in 1820, Spanish flu in 1920, coronavirus in 2020” (29 years, desk operator, male). Likewise, another respondent echoed, “Due to global warming, the ice of the arctic region is melting down and exposing several unknown microorganisms to the environment. I think, this virus came from there and has spread in humans” (51 years, public servant, male).
Fourthly, some participants believed that the coronavirus was an ‘act of God’. They drew on their Islamic religious beliefs. To illustrate, a 56 years old male accountant stated, “We have forgotten the path of Allah and have got involved in unethical activities. Thus, Allah has given this situation as a punishment and control our behavior”. To support his opinion, he used the Quran as a reference. Therefore, the findings indicate that people explained the coronavirus based on their religious beliefs and learnings .
Now turning to the sources of coronavirus-related information, the findings of this study suggest that participants relied on used mass media such as TV news, Facebook, YouTube and newspapers. Most of the respondents knew that this virus spread not only through the droplets of the infected people, but also by direct contact (touching) of the infected people . A few respondents also believed it [coronavirus] can spread through air. On this point a respondent said, “I believe it can spread through air. Otherwise how a man becomes infected while he remains in quarantine?” (46 years, call operator, female).
According to our findings, most of the respondents came to know about the severity of coronavirus when Wuhan city including 11 cities of the Hubei province of China were locked down on the 23rd of January . But they paid less attention to it because they thought that it would not happen in Bangladesh because Bangladesh has no border with China. However, after knowing about the first Bangladeshi victim's information, most of the respondents became panicked and psychologically distressed. For example, a respondent expressed her worries by saying, “Now I can’t sleep well at night and even I’m using a spoon instead of my fingers to eat my meal. It seems to me that my hand is contaminated” (35 years, marketing manager, female). Similarly, another respondent expressed anxiety, “It seems to me that every person out there is infected” (35 years, housewife).
Our study also shows that most of the laypeople attempted to follow WHO’s guideline which includes, staying home, maintaining social distance of about 3 feet, using musk and hand gloves, using a handkerchief, tissue, or elbow for sneezing and coughing, washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer more than 20 seconds and so on . A few respondents maintain a very long distance not only from outsiders, but also from their own family members under the same roof. A participant informed, “Although none of us [family members] have traveled abroad within the last five-six months, to ensure each other’s safety, we’re staying in our rooms like self-isolation. Even we’re taking our meal one by one” (29 years, student, male). Besides, all the respondents were not welcoming any guest.
To ensure good health, WHO have advised to take healthy foods  during lockdown. Participants in this study, after obtaining information from sources such as Facebook, instead of meat, fish, and egg, many used to take hot water, tea, honey, and cloves. A narrated, “Now I’m taking hot water and tea with adding some cloves five times or more in a day. I have seen a Facebook post where I found that initially, the coronavirus remains in our throat for three days. That is why we feel throat pain. At that time virus can be killed by drinking plenty of hot water” (51 years, housewife, female). However, a few respondents to increase their immunity have increased their fruit consumption which contains vitamin C.
Some respondents believed that animal or birds were the sources of the coronavirus and so they have stopped consuming meat and egg. Concurrently, most of the respondents were performing daily prayers and some of them have visited religious institutions regularly. To explain this, a respondent mentioned, “Generally I don’t get enough time to do my daily prayer, but now at this time, I do it. Apart from this, only almighty Allah can save us from this situation” (33 years, salesman, male). Another respondent added, “…I regularly go to mosque and still now I’m doing so. I hope the mosque cannot be a place of infection as it is a home of Allah. And each person is washing their hand with soap before entering the mosque” (58 years, retired government officer, male).
The findings of our study indicate that the lockdown helped most of the respondents to increase family bond, improve family relationships and psychological well-being. This is in contrast to some reports which have shown globally domestic violence has increased during this pandemic . To explain this point a respondent said, “Generally I get little time to spend with my children, but now can stay with my children whole day and they are also enjoying it” (42 years, school teacher, female). Another participant echoed, “As I’m an accountant and have to stay in Dhaka… so I get less time to spend with my family. This lockdown helped me to spend fulltime with my parents… that generally does not happen even at the weekend…now I’m assisting my partner with her cooking and cleaning… taking care of my old parents…and they all are happy” (32 years, accountant, male).