As the country prepares to reopen and most Covid restrictions set to be done away with over the coming weeks, concern about COVID-19 has declined in recent weeks according to the latest Consumer Mindset report from Core Research.
Despite Ireland’s highest peak of COVID-19 in December and early January, 42% of the population say they remain very or extremely concerned about COVID-19, down from 48% in December when the Omicron wave was growing. This level of concern (42%) is significantly down compared to last January when 71% of the population were concerned.
However, while concern is falling people will continue to remain cautious but optimistic. The Core research shows that the largest group of people (39%) will continue to prioritise people they want to meet as they are not rushing back to socializing or they will wait a little longer before meeting “lots more people.”” “As a result, while demand will return to key areas of the economy, there will continue to be a focus on public safety,” the research notes.
While caution will be part of the new normal, the research also notes that “every second person (50% of adults) is again very or somewhat optimistic that Ireland can overcome Covid-19. However there remains a large proportion (31%) who are uncertain. This level of uncertainty is understandable given the fact that we have yet to see a true decline in case numbers during the wave. It is also worth noting that 20% of adults are pessimistic about our ability to overcome the pandemic, which impacts on their trust in various stakeholders within the economy and society,” the research notes.
“Throughout 2020, more people approved of the Government’s handling of the pandemic compared to other citizen’s handling. Political leadership was admired, but sharply declined to a level of half the population. Throughout 2021, people began to approve of citizen’s actions more than the Government’s,” the report notes. “The gap between citizen approval and Government approval is rising. Similarly, large companies (including many brands) continue to be perceived as contributing very little in terms of handling the pandemic. As a result, there is a growing distrust towards business and political leaders and being substituted by empowered active citizens,” it adds.
The report also highlights how COVID-19 has led to a new sense of empowerment amongst citizens. “With a greater sense of autonomy when it comes to “living with Covid,” the Irish public seem to anticipate a good year ahead, and with 40% of people stating they are considering a new life direction, there will be great change in every part of life in the next two to three years. Many people have lived with and managed uncertainty to a significant level, and while burnout and isolation has impacted many, the majority of the population are now equipped to make more empowered decisions. This will impact everything from brand choice to political voting. The pandemic years of uncertainty will become the Era of Personal Empowerment,” the report says.
To download a copy of Core’s Consumer Mindset report click HERE