Covid-19 worries: Me and Us
It’s no surprise that a lot of people are worried about the current Covid-19 situation. This week at Edentify we conducted online qualitative research to try to break this down and understand exactly what these concerns are. This research has revealed that, while immediate and personal concerns are at the top of mind, for many it goes much further to a fear for the broader community.
The coronavirus itself
The most obvious concern that people have is that they or their loved ones will catch or, perhaps worse, pass on Covid-19 to others. Many are particularly concerned about the more vulnerable in society: the elderly or those with medical conditions who are more likely to suffer a serious sickness.
I am an educator in a long day care centre and what concerns me is I catch it and not know if I have it and pass it on to the children in our car. I’ve also got my children at home. If I catch it then I might pass it on to my family.
I'm most worried about people becoming infected with this virus especially the elderly and frail.
Similarly, worries about finances are about more than just individuals. While many are uncertain about their own jobs, they are also worried about the implications on the Australian and global economy, for businesses large and small.
The job loss and the economy are clearly already struggling, with hundreds of workplaces closing, limiting hours or firing workers. This is leaving people helpless and vulnerable; in a time of need, they are being left with nothing and no hope of income. It’s heartbreaking.
The effect of the pandemic on the mental health of others, and in particular children, is another serious concern. This is heightened by the sight of panic buying by some in the community, which leads people to worry about whether they will be able to buy even the basics.
I am worried about older, disabled and more vulnerable people first and foremost. If I am struggling to get basic supplies, then I can't even imagine how they are doing and how they will get these supplies.
My daughter and I went shopping today to get groceries and I was amazed at the empty shelves and the despair on the faces of some older members of society.
The underlying driver of all of these fears is not knowing what the results will be and how long the pandemic will continue. With no certain end in sight, these worries will not go away easily.
Fortunately, this research has highlighted a level community social awareness that exists in Australia. Most people are not just fearful for themselves and their families, but also for other people. While we all wait for solutions, we need both strong leadership and a sense of community that unites and ensures that no-one is forgotten.