Survey paints New Zealanders’ mood during Covid-19 restrictions

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New Zealanders interviewed in a government-commissioned investigation said they felt exhausted by the lockdown, sad and worried about the impacts of Covid-19.

Photo: Unsplash

More than 800 people took part in the latest Feelings and Behaviors surveys, carried out over 10 days in July and September.

“Neutral” and “sad” were the top two emotions reported in September, compared to “neutral” and “joy” in July and May.

It shows that in September, 27% of people said they felt “sad”, up 12 percentage points from July.

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When asked why, 18% responded ‘lockdown fatigue’, although in Auckland it rose to 35%.

In July, 33% of those polled thought their life was worse than before Covid-19 – in September, that figure had risen to 52%.

Those who thought their life was worse were significantly more likely to be 55 and over (43%) and significantly less likely to have

under 35 (24 percent).

Overall, in September, around 70% of people said they felt the country was heading in the right direction with the response to Covid-19, down from 75% in May when the country was at level d. alert 1 – this figure remained relatively stable throughout the investigation period. .

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Not knowing when we’ll get back to normal was one of the top five concerns in September, with 47% of people citing it as a ‘priority impact’ of Covid-19, up 14 percentage points since July.

Concerns also increased in September about the long-term impacts of Covid-19, including access to education, impacts on mental health and well-being in disadvantaged socio-economic areas.

Covid-19 group deputy chief executive Cheryl Barnes said a constant challenge was the unknowns.

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September’s research reflected a difficult time for many, with Alert Level 4 restrictions in place in Auckland, the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 2 after three weeks at higher alert levels , and with great uncertainty and concern surrounding the Delta outbreak and the next steps, she said.

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