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People were less inclined to stick to advice and more lonely during second lockdown, CSO survey says

The CSO has published its latest survey on the well-being and lifestyles of people under Level 5 restrictions.

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JUST OVER ONE in ten people reported feeling downhearted or depressed “all” or “most of the time” in the last four weeks, according to the results of a new survey published today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). 

Its survey of 1,585 individuals found that more than one in three people (35.6%) rated their overall life satisfaction as “low” this November. This compared to 29.6% in April 2020 and 8.7% in 2018.

However, more than 71% of people said the Level 5 response to managing the risks of Covid-19 was an “appropriate” measure. On the other hand, 18.3% of people felt Level 5 was “too extreme” while 10.2% of people said it was “not sufficient”. 

These responses form part of the CSO’s latest survey on the societal impact of Covid-19 by looking at well-being and lifestyle under the Level 5 restrictions, which are set to expire from tomorrow.

CSO Statistician Claire Burke said: ‘The findings of the survey serve to highlight the impact that Covid-19 is having on society.”

Just under two-thirds of people (65.2%) rated their compliance with government advice and guidelines as “high”. This compares to 80.6% of people saying they had high compliance in April.

Around four in ten (39%) believe that their lives will return to something like it was before Covid-19 within the next 12 months. A further 45.3% of people believe it will take one to two years. Less than 7% believe that things will go back to some normality within the next six months. 

Almost three in ten (28.7%) said that spending more quality time with the people they live with is one aspect of their lives that has changed for the better since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. 

Furthermore, more people who are working from home said it was now easier (35.6%) than more difficult (27.3%). Around one in five said they were finding a better work-life balance during the pandemic than they had before.

However, the percentage of respondents who said they felt lonely “all” or “most of the time” in the four-week period doubled between April and November, from 6.8% to 12.7%. 

More than 17% of female respondents felt lonely all or most of the time compared to 9.9% of male respondents. People aged 18-34 were most likely to feel lonely all or most of the time with 25.6% of those in this age group saying they felt this way. 

Overall, people believed they were less likely to contract Covid-19 in November than in April. In April, 23.7% of people said they had a medium or high chance of developing Covid-19. This fell to 16% in November. 

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Sean Murray

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