Surprising effect of coronavirus

Australia is following a global trend of a belief that the coronavirus pandemic will bring families and friends closer together despite being locked indoors.

Almost half of the Aussies who responded to an Ipsos survey that polled more than 27,000 adults across 16 countries expected these relationships to flourish.

More than 30 per cent said it was neither likely nor unlikely, while 14 per cent reported it was very or somewhat unlikely that COVID-19 would bring them closer to loved ones.

 

Canada returned a similar result to Australia, as did the US where 53 per cent believed the coronavirus would enhance personal relationships.

In France, 43 per cent of those polled were upbeat, with this sentiment particularly strong in Italy as well as Asian nations including India, Vietnam and China which all returned a result of at least 60 per cent.

 

Australia is following a global trend of a belief that the coronavirus pandemic will bring families and friends closer together despite being locked indoors. Picture: iStock
Australia is following a global trend of a belief that the coronavirus pandemic will bring families and friends closer together despite being locked indoors. Picture: iStock

 

"Both the global and local findings show our capacity for resilience in a crisis," Ipsos Australia Director, David Elliott, said.

"While no doubt the increasing social distancing measures in Australia represent a hardship to all, and clearly some more than others, it's encouraging that many are able to look for a 'silver lining'.

It wasn't the only silver lining that emerged from the Ipsos survey.

Four in ten Australians surveyed thought they would learn a new skill as a result of COVID-19.

"The positivity around how our current situation provides an opportunity to strengthen relationships with friends and family or learn a new skill are two great examples of this resilience."

Social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle said he wasn't surprised at the results that showed many Australian's thought the pandemic would bring them closer together.

 

 

Mr McCrindle said COVID-19 has placed a "pause" on our lives which was helping Australians nurture their relationships.

"Any holidays and recreation is done at home, and with those of our household, which has had this amazing positive impact on allowing us to spend more time together that we wouldn't have planned," Mr McCrindle said.

He said that because we were now spending more time in front of screens, whether studying or working from home, it meant people now wanted to do other activities wither their household, such as cooking or playing boardgames.

Mr McCrindle said period of lockdown gave us a "solid amount of time" to rebuild our relationships with friends and family, and establish shared experiences.

It comes following a YouGov survey which showed just 22 per cent of Australians thought their relationship was stronger during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr McCrindle said "stronger" set a higher bar than "closer", which he explained was "a natural outflowing of time together".

He said McCrindle research had produced a similar result when respondents whether respondents thought social distancing and social isolation would lead to stronger household relationships.

"At the same time, 21 per cent of respondents said it would lead to increased household tension," he said. "But they are not mutually exclusive; you can have tension and strengthened relationships, and you often can't get one without the other".

Originally published as Surprising effect of coronavirus


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