Covid 19 Delta outbreak: New Zealanders weary from quarantine, survey reveals

Delta variant is a highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. Video / Paul Slater

By RNZ

New Zealanders questioned in a government-commissioned survey reported feeling worn out, upset and worried about the effects of Covid-19 due to the lockdown.

More than 800 people participated in the latest Emotion and Behavior surveys, which were conducted over 10 days in July and September.

Compared to “neutral” and “joy” in July and May, the two most important emotions people reported in September were “neutral” and “sad”.

In September, 27 percent of people reported feeling “sad” – up 12 percentage points from July.

When asked why, 18 percent said “isolation fatigue”; In Auckland, that figure rose to 35 percent.

In July, 33 percent of those surveyed thought their lives were worse than they had been before Covid-19. In September, this rate increased to 52 percent.

Those who felt their life was worse were significantly less likely to be 55 years or older (43 percent) and less likely to be under 35 (24 percent).

The research reflected a difficult time for many.  Photograph / Dean Purcell
The research reflected a difficult time for many. Photograph / Dean Purcell

Overall in September, around 70 percent of people reported feeling the country was moving in the right direction with the Covid-19 response; that figure fell from 75 percent in May, when the country was at alert level 1. This figure remained relatively stable over the entire period. survey period.

Not knowing when we’ll be back to normal was one of the top five concerns in September, with 47 percent of people calling it a “memorable effect” of Covid-19, up 14 percentage points since July.

Concerns were also raised in September about the long-term effects of Covid-19, including its effects on access to education, mental health, and the well-being of low socio-economic areas.

Cheryl Barnes, vice president of the Covid-19 Group, said the unknown is a constant challenge.

The September survey reflected a difficult time for many, with alert level 4 restrictions in Auckland, the rest of New Zealand at alert level 2 after three weeks at higher alert levels, and much uncertainty and anxiety about the Delta outbreak and the next. “Steps,” he said.

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