70% believe COVID-19 outbreak will last beyond September
7 min read.
When the Government requested ‘Stay at Home’ measures last month, the public reacted to the seriousness of COVID-19 and 75% of adults said they were very or extremely concerned about the outbreak. Four weeks later, that concern remains high but has declined slightly to 68% of adults, according to Core Research’s latest wave of COVID-19 study.
The survey of 1,000 people (conducted online and representative of the population) shows that the level of concern has reduced slightly, as the nation stayed at home, and has started to “flatten the curve.” The high level of compliance with restrictions has reduced the risk of an unmanageable peak of cases, but Government and public health experts continue to encourage people not to become complacent.
62% of people say they are optimistic
As revealed in the KBC Consumer Sentiment Index, the shock resulted in the largest drop in confidence in the survey’s twenty four year history to 42.6 down from 77.3 in March, as our response to COVID-19 was still being debated. Even in early March, six in ten people believed that Coronavirus (COVID-19) would impact their personal finances.
Today, after weeks of staying at home, people have adapted to a new way of life, and while it has been extremely challenging for many, particularly those who have lost jobs or are living in isolation, the majority of people remain hopeful, and possibly proud, of our country’s response. 62% of people say they are optimistic that Ireland will overcome the outbreak of COVID-19. In comparison, only 51% are optimistic about the rest of the world.
The Pragmatic Population
Core’s study has revealed how Irish people are hopeful, resilient, and realistic about the pandemic. Our qualitative findings have provided snapshots of what people are finding challenging. One respondent shared “the fact that everything stopped so suddenly, has been difficult,” while another shared that he or she is looking forward to “seeing my boyfriend, because he lives further away than 2km.” However, many are pragmatic about the circumstances and adapting to a new way of life.
Two-thirds (66%) of people say they are “currently enjoying the simple, everyday pleasures of life” and while 40% of people say relationships with their family have remained the same in recent weeks, 47% have said their family relationships have improved. While the population has experienced increased levels of stress and anxiety, overall, the population has taken a pragmatic approach to the pandemic.
70% believe outbreak will last beyond September and into 2021.
This pragmatism is manifesting in when people believe the outbreak will be controlled. When asked four weeks ago about how long the outbreak will last, the majority (60%) of the population said it would last until September, with a further 23% saying it would continue into 2021. Core’s latest wave of research now shows that only 30% believe that COVID-19 will be controlled by September, with the majority (70%) saying it will last after September, right up to next summer. 38% of the population believe we will still be managing the outbreak in 2021.
This public perspective reflects the growing understanding about the timelines on vaccine development, on how “flattening the curve” leads to long-term use of physical distancing and the various political responses across the globe. Despite the public understanding our national response could take another year, they are optimistic, and in many ways positive about managing their day to day life.
Based on this latest research, people approve of our collective handling of the situation – 80% public approval of local businesses, 61% of large companies, 75% of the Government and, significantly, 69% of people approve of how other citizens are handling the situation.
Citizens and customers have demonstrated their determination, agility and resilience to respond to this crisis. They understand it may take some time. Business and organisations who support these efforts are being recognised, and the need for solidarity actions will remain.