The UK public was surveyed by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI, and the results provide an interesting insight into how Brits have been coping with the Covid-19 lockdown.
A national lockdown was announced last month, restricting people from leaving their homes unless they have an essential reason to leave.
The lockdown was initially implemented for a three-week period, but as the number of coronavirus deaths continue to rise, it’s unlikely the lockdown will be lifted.
The survey found many are struggling with life under lockdown – more than half of people say they have felt more anxious or depressed than normal since they were told to stay home and 38% of people are sleeping less or less well than normal.
In terms of lifestyle choices, 35% of people surveyed found themselves eating more and reaching for unhealthy food, while alcohol intake is up – 19% are drinking more than they usually would.
As the public find themselves stuck under the same roof as the rest of their household, tensions have flared and arguments have increased – 19% of people are arguing more with family members or people they live with.
The coronavirus pandemic is dominating many people’s thoughts – nearly a third (32%) check social media several times a day for updates on the crisis, and of those, 7% check once an hour or more.
While the outbreak has also led to people reaching out for support – as 6% phoned a counselling or support service since the lockdown.
But the lockdown has not been a completely negative experience, as it has led to people lending support to others – 60% say they have offered help to friends, family and neighbours, while 47% say they’ve received such help.
While the public are also volunteering to help throughout the crisis – 6% say they’ve signed up to the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, and 11% say they’re planning to.
And 5% volunteered officially with another organisation and 22% say they’ve helped others on an informal basis.
People are also finding new ways to stay in touch and exercise using online videos, but almost 50% of people still exercised outside of their home.
Kelly Beaver, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI, said: “It’s becoming clear that people are beginning to suffer due to the restrictions stemming from the Covid-19 outbreak.
“It’s incredibly concerning that half of people say they are feeling more anxious or depressed.”
But Ms Beaver added: “The silver lining that 60% have volunteered to help people is more needed than ever.”
The survey is based on 2,250 interviews with UK residents aged 18-75, and was carried out between 1 and 3 April 2020.
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