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 29 000 people have participated in the study until today.
Anxiety levels are measured related to the shopping experience. At four stages we ask the respondents how anxious they felt: before they went to the shop, during their shopping, standing in the queue and paying at the till point.
The graph indicates that before lockdown and stringent measures were put in place, the anxiety, linked to the shopping experience, was very high. With the beginning of lockdown the anxiety levels decreased as shops complied with and communicated the Covid-19 safety measures and precautions with customers. People are currently less anxious doing their shopping. This is even more significant if we take into account that the anxiety levels regarding the virus and loss of income, over the same period, increased significantly.
The Grocery retail industry should be commended for this performance.
In the survey we distinguished between anxiety related to the Covid-19 virus and anxiety because of the loss of income. In both cases the anxiety levels came down for the first few days of lockdown but then steadily increase over time. People have constantly reported higher anxiety levels due to loss of income and their financial situation.
While anxiety levels increased the respondents believe that the virus is not spreading as fast as they originally thought it would. This probably relates to the effectiveness of the lockdown and the practicing of hygienic practices and social distancing.
In spite of general anxiety levels that have consistently increased, the perception of how quickly the virus is spreading and the anxiety levels related to the shopping experience are decreasing.