Welcome to the party! You’re not allowed to touch anything, be near anyone, or drink any alcohol that doesn’t come in an aloe vera scented bottle, oh and you have to cover your mouth and nose the entire time so definitely no kissing. :) :) So, we’re living la vida lockdown. It’s the party no one wanted to be invited to but we’ve somehow all ended up here.
It’s hard to believe, but we’re almost a year into living in various kinds of lockdown throughout the world. Some people have embraced this time, grappled with what they want to do with their lives, taken time for social issues, volunteered, found love, moved country, started a side project that changed their career. For others, it’s been a tough time of isolation, not seeing family and friends, with mental health issues on the rise for many. At ThisThat we wanted to take a snapshot of this moment, and find out how the world was feeling about pandemic life this January.
57% of voters see the pandemic as the new normal whilst the other 40% or so still think it’s pretty surreal.
It’s sometimes helpful to remember that this is an incredibly unusual period of history that we’re living through (some might even say *unprecedented!*). We’re so used to the messaging about social distancing, mask wearing and rules around how, where, what, why you can – or cannot – socialize, that it’s become second nature to cross the road if you see someone coming, hold your breath in the supermarket and not hug people when you meet them. But it's also been a time of great productivity for some.
Many have taken this increased time at home to start up a side hustle, finally write that book, or GOD forbid have joined the growing throngs of people who have started a podcast. Podcasts mics were actually sold out on Amazon at one stage….! We found that 50% of people have picked up a project over this period. The pressure to “be productive” has been unhelpful to many, with 69% saying they’ve felt stressed about using the time well.
Mental health deteriorated for 79% of those who consider this pandemic lost time.
A cancelled wedding, travel plans that never came to fruition or a purely online university experience, has meant life has taken an unexpected form for many this year. By cross filtering responses on whether this period has been a liberating/ lost time with those who had worsened mental health, we found there was a direct correlation between the two.
One thing, which many found helpful at this time was returning home to their roots. In fact, a huge proportion 70% in fact, who spent time with their families, improved their mental health. In times of uncertainty, we look for consistency, love and comfort, so it makes sense that if you’re home environment is a safe one, even as a big bad adult in the big wide world, home is a great source of security.
People need people, we’re social beings and whether it’s creating a book club, zoom quiz or going on social distanced walks, putting time into relationships whether romantic or otherwise has been a priority. We found that 60% of voters have developed their friendships, whilst 40% have embraced the world of dating apps and found love.
The vaccine is being rolled out and we all wait with baited breath hoping it comes off successfully and BJ, the blonde in parliament doesn’t somehow fumble the ball (again….!) It’s been a difficult year, but also a time in which many have paid more attention to the world, become more involved in social issues, developed hobbies, relationships and gone after what they want. Let’s hope that this time of reflections lays the groundwork for a world that is bursting with ideas, stronger relationships and JOIE DE VIVRE.