As Australia’s regionalised lockdowns and border closures come and go with now regular monotony – and Greater Sydney continues be unable to get to grips with its Covid woes – Australians have become increasingly pessimistic about if and when life will return to normal.
The results of the latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate that more than one in four people (26 percent) believe it will take more than a year for things to return to pre-pandemic norms.
This is notably more pessimistic than the November 2020 study, which found that only one in seven Aussies (14 percent) felt that way.
In addition, one in six (15.5 percent) people in the latest survey said they don’t believe that life will never be the way it was pre-Covid – an increase on the one in nine people who felt that way in November 2020.
Twenty percent show high levels of psychological stress
ABS Head of Household Surveys, David Zago, said the latest survey, conducted between 11 – 20 June, asked Australians how they felt about several key questions related to the pandemic.
The latest data also showed that one in five Australians (20 percent) continued to experience high or very high levels of psychological distress – and that prior to the most recent outbreaks there had been decreases in reported precautionary behaviours.
“In June 2021, behaviours like washing hands or using hand sanitiser regularly had decreased to 85 percent from 95 percent in September 2020,” he explained.
“Keeping a physical distance from people had decreased to 63 percent from 88 percent in September, and disinfecting surfaces had decreased to 43 percent from 64 percent.”
Survey also analysed the Covid-19 vaccination experience
The survey also asked respondents about their vaccination experiences and one in three Australians (33 percent) aged 18 years and over reported that they had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccination.
People who reported disability were more likely than those without disability to have received a vaccination (46 percent compared with 28 percent).
Of Australians who had received at least one dose of a vaccination, nine in 10 (90 percent) reported that it was very easy, or moderately easy, to get one.
The aspects of life under Covid-19 restrictions most people said they would like to see continue post-Covid included: working from home (33 percent); spending more time with family and friends (33 percent); spending less and saving more (29 percent); slower pace of life (27 percent); and taking more domestic holidays (27 percent).