Clear Strategy Company has been running an online survey researching the perceptions and anxiety levels among South Africans since the 17th of March, 10 days before lockdown. More than 27 500 people have participated in the study until today.
On the 13th of April we highlighted the anxiety experienced per age group. We focused on the younger generation that experienced the most anxiety. Our statistics also then indicated that the respondents older than 65 reported lower anxiety. A month later, it is still the case. Older people are less anxious than the rest of the people that take part in the survey.
We measure anxiety regarding the COVID-19 virus and the economic situation. Both anxiety measures are lower. See graphs below.
In the survey respondents indicate the activities they do to cope with the anxiety during lockdown. See graph below.
The graph indicates that the people in the older age category mention they spend less time with the family are more in the garden, sleep or rest a bit more and less indicated they eat more to cope with anxiety.
14% of the older respondents listen to the radio and 45% rely on the television for information on Covid-19.
On the question, “How likely is it that you can become infected with Covid-19?” although the people older than 65 are in the high-risk group, only 14% indicated it is likely or very likely that they will contract the virus. This is less than the 20% indicated by all respondents.
Again, 33% of the respondents in the group older than 65 indicated that it is likely or very likely that someone they know could become infected with the Covid-19 virus. This is also lower than the rest of the respondents with close to 40% that indicated that someone they know could become infected.
Concerns raised by some respondents older than 65:
“Not being able to visit my husband in hospital”
“Being isolated from my children and grandchildren, friends for who knows how long”
“The future of all South Africans”
“Having to go back to work while it’s unsafe to do so. I am hoping my age and health (asthma) will enable me to remain isolated”
“To be locked in till end year”
“People in townships not being able to work and feed their families. Elderly not getting their grants on time”
“A lot of people do not seem to take this virus seriously. People with no food.”
“Correct statistics, poverty, hunger and the economy”
“Mental health of our psychiatric patients with the cigarette ban..”
“Poverty and loss of jobs of the people. Abuse, crime and general well-being of people who already have so little and have now got even less”
“Pets if we get infected”
“My diabetes risk”
“There is anxiety about the virus BUT the social impact of the lockdown is devastating on the poor and to some extent, the middle class”
“That I have no income and no money in the bank and worrying were the next meal comes from”
“Having lost my business and no income period. No hand out from government or else where”
“The people without work and with no money for food, especially children and the elderly. Civil unrest”
“People are not social distancing, ignoring rules, not wearing masks”
“That too many people are without food, they suffer too much, and that there is not enough help out there”
Positives of the Lockdown
“Time…to relax, be with family, take stock of one’s life and enjoy giving the other creatures on earth and nature in general a break from humanity!”
“Got to do things I have been promising myself I will do for over 4 years”
“The fact that I can use the time to do intensive study of the Bible”
“Been able to relax and read. Have also started embroidery again”
“Hardly any driving, more time each day to cook, bake, clean, read, keep in touch with friends and family electronically and on the phone”
“The peace around and the Earth is healing”
Nature is happy”
“Garden looking better”
“Caught up with my hobby”
“Time to slow down and reflect”
“I have had to give up smoking. Am not tempted to consume alcohol”
Family time with children when you are parent with young ones. Getting closer to God”
“Appreciation of our World and our fellow human beings. I hope”
“Peaceful existence. It’s almost like living in a bubble of serenity”
“Appreciate helping friends and charities whose businesses struggled”
“People will go inwards and connect with consciousness more. Show more caring to each other. The earth will have time to cleanse itself somewhat”
“I think it has been a wakeup call for us to urgently make changes in our lifestyle, food choices, and work environment. Things are not going to go back to ‘normal’ as we knew it for a very long time”
“Lack of infection and spread of the virus”
“It brought me and many people back to basics and one appreciates how lucky we have been to have a happy household”
“Less pollution and political parties working together to resolve the situation”
“I see families integrating… my adult children and their spouses have proved what awesome parents they are”