System1 Coronavirus Tracker: 1st April
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, we’re running a 14-country tracker to capture people’s emotional and behavioural response to the crisis around the world.
For the very latest results, sign up for our webinar every Wednesday.
Here are the key findings from last week’s tracker:
Happiness drops as lockdowns bite
Across most of the European countries where lockdowns have been imposed, we’ve seen Happiness dropping and Sadness rising. In the UK, for instance, Happiness fell from 29% in the week before lockdown to 19% during the first week of restrictions. The exception is Germany, where negative moods are fairly low and Happiness is holding up at 33%. This might be because while Germany has a lot of cases, its mortality rate is low – so there’s a greater sense that the actions are working to control the outbreak.
People get ready for the long haul
This week we asked people when they thought things would start to get ‘back to normal’ – and there’s very little consensus. Some of the countries with the most hardline lockdown policies, like Italy and France, see large majorities predicting a return to normality by the end of June. But in the UK, for instance, only 42% believe this optimistic prediction and many see a far longer haul ahead of them. The question of how long populations will endure lockdown conditions has played a big role in planning the fight against Coronavirus – authorities will hope that the expectation of a long fight might mean more resilience.
80% worried about their livelihoods
While the number of people actually reporting direct impact on their job is steady week-on-week, a large majority of our respondents worldwide are concerned about the personal economic impact of COVID-19. In most markets, 80% or more are either very or quite concerned that the pandemic will hit their livelihood. (Germany and the Netherlands are the biggest exceptions, and even here more than half are worried.) And despite the rescue packages announced by governments, most people are expecting a Depression-level economic hit, with a 10-15% contraction in the economy predicted.
Are we all in it together? Kind of.
To get an idea of how the economic crisis might be affecting overall mood, we broke it down by income – those earning $75k or more vs those under that level. What we found is that while the fear and sadness about the situation is evenly distributed, money certainly can buy you happiness – the wealthy reported far higher levels of positive emotions. So while everyone’s scared by the virus, the better off are still in a better mood.