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Top pandemic coping feeling ⎼ from “anxious” to “tired” in past 3 weeks

By on April 16, 2020

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO – APRIL 15, 2020 – A Canadian firm’s weekly COVID-19 behavioural research survey has found that in last week’s survey (April 6 to 12) the most frequently used word to express participants’ emotion is “tired”. This compares to “anxious” which was the most frequently term used in the first two weeks of the survey (March 24 to April 5).

image2 2 - Top pandemic coping feeling ⎼ from “anxious” to “tired” in past 3 weeks

“People everywhere are struggling to understand and cope with the practical, psychological and emotional effects of social distancing, self-isolation, symptom monitoring and general uncertainty. Through our survey, we’re gaining insight into changes in how people are faring from week to week and the things that they are doing to cope,” said Sarah Thorne, President and CEO of Decision • Partners.

Thorne, and her team of social scientists, researchers and management consultants, launched their weekly COVID-19 Coping Survey on March 24th on their own, and are sharing weekly results online. 

These word cloud graphics illustrate participants’ changing responses to the question: What one word would you use to describe how you are feeling today?

“Evidence-based behavioural insights can help leaders and public health officials make policy and design appropriate risk communications to help people through the transition. We hope that our research provides insight that helps their decision-making processes,” Thorne said.

So, how are people coping? Top-line findings from Survey #3 (April 6-12): 

image3 - Top pandemic coping feeling ⎼ from “anxious” to “tired” in past 3 weeks
  • People expect we’re going to be dealing with COVID-19 for a long time
  • Several are reporting that they are “tired” – with more people struggling to stay positive than we’ve heard in previous weeks
  • People continue to be concerned about the seriousness of COVID-19, its spread and staying healthy
  • For the third week in a row, people are most grateful for “family”, “health”, “friends”, and “home”
  • The top questions respondents would like to have answered by public health officials in Canada and the US are related to policies and decision making about pandemic preparedness, current actions and how and when we’ll get people back to work
  • For respondents from both Canada and the US, government health officials were most frequently mentioned as the most-trusted sources for pandemic information 
    • For Canadian respondents: elected officials were mentioned the next-most frequently 
    • For US respondents: media sources were mentioned the next-most frequently

To see all the weekly highlights reports click here, reports are listed in the right margin.

Completing the survey seems to help people cope

The survey seems to be striking a chord with respondents, some of whom reached out to us to say that the mere act of answering the online questions is helping them cope a little better.

Thorne explained, “Several people are telling us that the act of completing the survey questions each week – in itself – has been therapeutic because it helps them reflect on and articulate their feelings and how they’re coping, and by doing so, they feel more resilient.”

Small company pivots to support the public interest

Like many Canadian companies and organizations that are rising to the pandemic challenge, the team at Decision Partners knew they could help by doing what they do best: listening and learning to better understand what people are thinking, feeling and doing to cope with pandemic-related changes and challenges, then sharing those insights with respondents, decision makers and the world.

Participants needed: Research impact depends on weekly survey data

Looking forward, Thorne says more weekly data will help maintain the survey’s usefulness to both participants and leaders and decision makers in many organizations.

“We’re asking adults 18-years and older to help by completing the survey weekly and telling us how they are coping, and encouraging their friends and families to participate as well. We’re listening and we’ll share what we are learning.”

Please visit: http://decisionpartners.co/Survey.html