With the rise in Covid cases continuing to heap pressure on hospitals throughout the country and people being urged to work from home where possible, public concern about the pandemic has risen again, according to Core’s latest Consumer Mindset report, which has tracked sentiment towards COVID-19 for 19 months. After an all-time low concern level of 31% of adults feeling very or extremely concerned last month, this proportion has sharply risen to 44% of all adults.
There is now a re-focus by the public on the pandemic and after a few months of not topping Core’s Cultural Index table- which measures the most significant news stories- COVID-19 has returned to the forefront of peoples’ minds. However, this time, the increase in concern has resulted in an increase in uncertainty – confusion and misaligned expectations of where we should be as a country.
The report also shows that 41% of people remain optimistic we can overcome the pandemic, although this is the lowest level since October 2020. In addition 33% of people are uncertain if Ireland can overcome the pandemic. When it comes to socialising, 25% of those surveyed say that they will continue “to prioritise people I want to meet as I’m not rushing back to socialising” while 35% admit that “I’m still cautious of meeting people and going places, but we have to return to it.”
“Ireland is now at a stage where the public are being asked to reduce socialising in order to reduce cases, and as a result each individual and household will begin to establish the optimum level of people they can meet, while mitigating the risk of transmission,” the report notes.
“The impact on this new balancing act will be the continuation of last minute decision making, prioritising what activities or people are most important and choosing brands and locations which offer safe and enjoyable experiences,” it says.
“As we approach the end of the year, this will marginally impact consumer confidence, however, there remains to be a strong level of resilience (again) within society and the economy. Our projections suggest that the public are already re-evaluating their socialising and while we have yet to see this translate into a reduction of socialising and mobility, there is an increase in the number of people saying they intend to hold back from socialising as much and prioritise who they see and what they do,” says Finian Murphy, marketing director, Core.
For a full copy of the latest Core Consumer Mindset research click HERE