Has the coronavirus pandemic changed people’s behaviour? Of course it has. But now a survey from YouGov has attempted to quantify the extent and nature of that change.
Keep your distance
By late February, coronavirus had already influenced people’s desire to stay away from crowds, especially in China and Italy.
But in countries including the UK, the US, Indonesia, Thailand and Spain, steep curves show people’s increasing avoidance of crowds from February to mid-March.
The importance of personal hygiene was one of the earliest and clearest pieces of public health advice given as coronavirus took hold. Posters, infographics and videos circulated explaining how to wash your hands.
The UK shows an interesting curve. There was a profound uptake of handwashing, up from 35% at the beginning of March to 77% by early April. But by mid-May, British interest in clean hands was definitely falling, down to 63%. It’s worth noting that in both the above charts, the curve for Sweden shows multiple rises and dips, reflecting, perhaps, that country’s divergent approach to dealing with the pandemic.
Maintain personal space
Cover your face
March was the month that working patterns changed across the world, as can be seen in this chart. Of course, some jobs can’t be done remotely. Front-line and key workers – from couriers to clinicians, delivery drivers to doctors – have been keeping people safe and keeping economies moving.