Lives, livelihoods and lockdowns: the public's views on the COVID-19 lockdowns

Lives, livelihoods and lockdowns: the public's views on the COVID-19 lockdowns
2021-05-12

COVID signpost keep apart

The COVID-19 pandemic has up-ended our lives. Governments worldwide introduced lockdown policies to lower the number of infections and protect healthcare systems. However, lockdowns also impact on people’s everyday lives and work. Governments need to weigh up the need to control COVID-19 and the impact of lockdowns on people’s lives.  

In late 2020, we asked 4201 people living in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland how lockdowns had affected and changed their lives. We compared people’s answers across the four nations of the United Kingdom.

A previous blog post describes the study, and the study protocol has been published. In this blog, we highlight some initial findings and focus on three things that we asked people about:

  • How much COVID-19 has changed people’s daily routine?
  • If the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 affected the usual healthcare people or their loved ones receive?
  • If the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 impacted on people’s standard of living?

Here are some of our findings:

How much has COVID-19 changed people’s daily routine?

The number of people who reported a lot of changes to their daily routine from COVID-19 and the first lockdown (March-May 2020) was similar across the four nations.

Daily routine image

 

Did the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 affect the usual healthcare people or their loved ones received?

We also asked respondents if the COVID-19 lockdowns had affected the usual healthcare they or their loved ones receive. In England, 43% of people reported an impact on their own or their loved one’s healthcare. This is similar in Scotland (44%) and Wales (46%). A higher proportion of people in Northern Ireland (53%) reported that the lockdowns affected the usual healthcare services they or their loved ones receive.

Has usual healthcare been affected image 

 

Did the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 impact on people’s standard of living?

Around 30% of people reported that their standard of living had worsened during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. This was similar across the four nations of the UK.

Standard of living impact by nation

People’s personal circumstances affected whether or not their standard of living had worsened. In Scotland, people with children were more likely to report that their standard of living had got worse due to COVID-19 lockdowns compared to those without children. 

Standard of living with children

Similarly, in Scotland, people who lived in a household that made less than £20,800 a year were more likely to report that their standard of living had got worse due to COVID-19 lockdowns compared to those who made more than £31,200. 

Standard of living by income

This blog post is a glimpse of some of our results. Overall, we find that the experience of the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 was similar across the four nations. However, when we consider people’s personal circumstances, we find that the experience of lockdowns varied across people.

In future blog posts, we will report more results and explore the personal circumstances and experiences that affected people’s preferences for lockdown policies. Stay tuned!

Lastly, if you have any ideas you would like to share or things we could investigate about this topic, feel free to reach out to luis.loria@abdn.ac.uk or a member of the Methods of Benefit Valuation team.

 

Thanks to Luis Loría Rebolledo for his work developing this blog post.

Luis Loría Rebolledo 

 

HERU is supported by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates (SGHSC). The views expressed here are those of the Unit and not necessarily those of the CSO.

Published by HERU, University of Aberdeen

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