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Levels of anxiety, happiness and loneliness
The Coronavirus pandemic is having a wide range of impacts on people's daily life and personal wellbeing. This section presents polling data used to monitor how Coronavirus is impacting upon people's mental and physical health, financial stability and perceptions of local neighbourhood.
To measure levels of anxiety and happiness respondents were asked how anxious and how happy they felt 'yesterday', on a scale of 0 to 10. From July 28-29 these questions were asked on a fortnightly basis. As shown in Figure 1, anxiety levels were high at the beginning of lockdown and declined in April. They have remained fairly stable since June, with a small increase since the end of July. Similarly, low happiness was highest during lockdown, decreased in April, and has since remained fairly stable.
To understand social isolation, respondents were also asked how much of the time during the past week they had felt lonely. Loneliness levels were previously tracked using the Ipsos MORI polling survey from late May until mid-July, before moving this question to the YouGov survey. Data shown in Figure 2 is since the move to the YouGov survey and shows around one in seven respondents felt lonely 'all/almost all or most of the time' in the past week at the end of July and August, while around half have reported feeling lonely 'none/ almost none of the time'.
Coping, worries and optimism
Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statements about worry and optimism. Figure 3 shows that the majority of respondents have agreed or strongly agreed that they feel worried about the Coronavirus situation since the end of March. However, worry about the Coronavirus situation decreased over time, and the proportion who strongly agreed with the statement has been between one in five and one in seven since mid-July.
Figure 4 shows that levels of optimism that things will start getting better soon increased between April and the end of June but declined in July. Levels of optimism in the most recent waves are similar to those at the beginning of lockdown, with between one quarter and one third agreeing that they are sure things will start to get better soon in August.
Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statements shown in Figure 5. Only one of these statements was part of the latest survey wave (Aug 25-26). The proportion who agreed that they feel like they are coping okay with the Coronavirus situation has remained high and stable since the end of April, while the proportion who agreed that they feel worried about the long-lasting effect of the restrictions on jobs and economy has increased slightly.
Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statements shown in Figure 6 regarding risk of an outbreak of new cases and worry about going back into lockdown. The proportion of respondents who believe there is a risk of a local outbreak of new cases has increased from mid-July to early August, then remained stable since, while the proportion worried about having to go back into lockdown has remained fairly stable.
Respondents were asked what level of threat they think Coronavirus poses to their job. Threat to 'your job or business' was previously tracked using the Ipsos MORI polling survey between late March and mid-July.  As shown in Figure 7, the proportion of respondents perceiving a 'high' or 'very high' threat to 'your job' started at around a quarter, and is now just above a fifth at the latest wave.
Respondents were asked how concerned they were, when thinking ahead one month, about the statements shown in Figure 8 regarding household finances. The proportions of respondents who were 'extremely' or 'very' concerned about these three statements have stayed stable between 11% and 14%.
To understand the potential impact of Coronavirus on non-Coronavirus related health issues, respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed that they would avoid going to a hospital or GP practice if they had a medical concern not related to Coronavirus. As shown in Figure 9 the proportion of people agreeing that they would avoid GPs or hospital for immediate health concerns not related to Coronavirus has decreased, first sharply, then steadily, from a high of 45% in late April to 28% at the end of August.
Respondents were asked how similar or different their current daily life is to life before the coronavirus pandemic. Figure 10 shows that around three quarters of respondents see their life as 'very' or 'quite' different to how it was before the pandemic.
Respondents were asked about their sense of belonging to their neighbourhood, and how safe they feel in their neighbourhood. Levels of community activity and support were previously tracked in the Ipsos MORI survey. While direct comparisons cannot be made between the surveys, Table 1 shows in that both surveys the majority of respondents indicated that they feel safe, and a sense of belonging; however both also demonstrated that a sizeable minority did not feel belonging.
Table 1: Proportion who answered 'very' or 'fairly' about the two questions about neighbourhood safety and belonging
How safe do you feel walking alone in your neighbourhood after dark? Would you say you feel...?
How strongly do you feel you belong to your immediate neighbourhood?
Sources: Ipsos MORI July 10-13 Base (n=500). YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1012)