Coronavirus (COVID-19) and society: what matters to people in Scotland?

Findings from an open free text survey taken to understand in greater detail how the pandemic has changed Scotland.

Key points

The aim of this research was to gather direct accounts from the public on their experiences of the pandemic, and on their concerns and thoughts about future support needs.

Who took part?

3,162 people completed this online, ‘free-text’ survey

  • most (70%) respondents were female
  • there was a range of ages (under 24 to over 70 years)
  • a quarter (26%) of respondents identified as having a long-standing physical or mental impairment, illness or disability
  • 22% stated that they were in an unpaid carer role

How do people feel?

Some of the most prominent emotional attitudes included:

  • fed up
  • angry/critical
  • worried/cautious
  • struggling
  • accepting
  • optimistic/positive

What made it easier to stay safe?

Factors that helped and encouraged people to stay safe included:

  • feeling motivated to protect others
  • making new connections
  • having the capability and the resources
  • experiencing positive personal outcomes from new ways of working and studying

What made it challenging to stay safe?

Factors that made it more challenging to stay safe included:

  • contradictory or disproportionate guidance
  • worry about the harmful consequences of the rules and measures
  • the behaviour of other people
  • being at higher risk from COVID-19

Issues that people want help with

The main differences in the issues people wanted help with were:

  • those directly related to COVID-19 (in terms of health implications)
  • those related to the practical and social implications stemming from the pandemic
  • wider concerns mostly to do with issues such as the cost of living crisis

Specific support needs

People were seeking very different types of support depending on their circumstances and what their hopes were for the future. Including:

  • returning to the ‘old normal’
  • adapting to a ‘new normal’
  • protection from COVID-19
  • financial security
  • to recover from the harm and disruption caused by the pandemic
  • improved access to health and social care
  • support with Long-COVID



Back to top