COVID-19 is not going to last forever, but it sure is impactful on our lives. Maybe not the disease itself, but the measures we had to implement in order to curb its spread. Scientists at UCL found that 28% of adults think that their lives now ‘completely different’ or have ‘lots of differences’ than they were before the pandemic.
Lockdown made everyone a little bit miserable. Maybe you’re an introvert and don’t find staying at home that bad, but even you must feel a little sad when you cannot go meet your friends or at least visit your local bakery. On top of that there is stress about maintaining your job and you’re probably worried about the disease as well.
Over 70,000 participants were included in this study. Scientists followed them for 24 weeks in order to see how the strict pandemic regime changed their lives. These changes are temporary – COVID-19 is going to pass and we will return to a somewhat normal life. However, for now it may be a little different. In the midst of the lockdown scientists found that 4 % of respondents didn’t find their lives different at all, while 50 % did experience a lot of differences. Then there were some people in between – 28 % of respondents said that their lives were quite different, while 18 % found that their lives were a little different in the midst of the lockdown regime.
The lockdown rules were eased up quite a lot following a drop in new COVID-19 cases. People were able to return to work, many restaurants were opened and cities began looking more normal again. Even a lot of flights were returned, allowing people to travel at least a little bit more. Therefore, scientists decided to look at how people feel about their lives being different now.
28 % of respondents stated that their lives are completely different – still quite a lot, even if much less than during the strict lockdown. 33 % of adults said that there are quite a few differences, while 35 % said that there are a few differences. 4 % said that their lives are entirely the same. How is that possible? Well, we can only speculate that these people didn’t have to go to work previously or their jobs were not affected by the lockdown rules.
Dr Daisy Fancourt, lead author of the study, said: “What’s interesting is that even with the level of easing that has happened since then, many people are still reporting at least substantial changes in their current lives compared to before the coronavirus pandemic. This shows that whilst many aspects of society are operating again, we’re far from a return to ‘normal’ and the virus is still very much having an impact on people’s everyday lives.”
We cannot rule out the possibility that lockdown is going to be necessary to combat the second wave of COVID-19. The good thing is that it is not going to be a surprise – we now know how it affects us and how we can make the best out of a bad situation.