3 in 4 polled feel anxious over impact of Covid-19
Study shows S'poreans and PRs worried about economic and health issues
The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has caused anxiety among three in four Singaporeans and permanent residents, according to a study conducted by marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson.
The results of the study, which polled 500 respondents between June 29 and July 6, was released yesterday. The economy, which has taken a big hit in the wake of the outbreak here, was the main cause of anxiety among those surveyed.
Singapore's economy contracted by 13.2 per cent year on year in the second quarter, the worst on record.
About 78 per cent of those in the study said they were anxious about economic issues, with a majority worrying about issues such as unemployment rates and the current state of the economy.
Among the 18- to 24-year-olds, the main concerns were about finding jobs that would fit their skills, with graduates facing difficulties in their job search, the survey showed.
Health concerns also figured high on the list of anxiety causes, with 73 per cent of respondents saying they were worried about such issues.
A majority of those who were troubled about health indicated that they were anxious about global pandemic diseases, such as Covid-19.
When it came to Covid-19 itself, two main concerns dominated: the fear of contracting the disease in public spaces, and worry about the long-term economic disruption from the pandemic fallout.
About 37 per cent said they were bothered about their families and friends contracting the virus, as many as those who feared catching it themselves at public places.
Thirty-six per cent were afraid of catching Covid-19 on public transport, while about 33 per cent feared being infected while in a taxi or ride-hailing vehicle.
On the Covid-19 economic disruption, 40 per cent were worried it would go on for a really long time.
A similar percentage feared that the economy would crash, while 30 per cent were anxious about losing their jobs.
Wunderman Thompson Intelligence Asia-Pacific director Chen May Yee said: "Different groups are anxious about different things but what's clear is people are anxious on multiple levels... Meanwhile, (people) are also looking at the wider economy and bracing (themselves) for what is yet to come."
Well-being and leadership coach Nitya Rao-Perera said it is important to deal with such fears, as being anxious can lead to a number of different conditions such as depression or burnout.
"What can innocently creep up as feelings of doom and despair, being indecisive or unsure, can lead to something more complicated," she said.
She suggested that people focus on things that are within their control, remember that life's greatest lessons are usually learnt at the worst times, and reframe one's interpretation of a situation to perceive it more positively.
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