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Public attitudes to coronavirus: November update

This report presents findings from polling work, conducted between March and August 2021, on public attitudes to the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection


1. Impact of Coronavirus

Data was collected on the day-to-day impacts of Coronavirus on people's finances and health. This section presents some information on how respondent's finances and health have been affected by the pandemic.

Financial impact

Respondents were asked about the perceived level of threat to their job resulting from Coronavirus. Figure 1 shows that in March (2-3), one fifth of those employed perceived a ‘very high’ or ‘high’ threat to their job. The proportions perceiving a ‘high’/’very high’ threat to their job remained at similar levels from March through to mid-July.

Figure 1: Perceived threat to job among those employed
Bar chart showing perceived high/very high threat varied between 14% and 20% between 2-3 March and 13-14 July.

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults who are working or furloughed or due to return to work after shielding (n=406-466)

Respondents were asked in March (17-18), April (27-28) and July (13-14) how concerned they felt, a month ahead, about paying their bills, not having a job and not being able to provide for their household. This remained stable, with around 1 in 10 respondents either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about paying their bills, losing their job or being unable to provide for their household. Between 22% and 24% of respondents were ‘somewhat concerned’ about being able to pay their bills, 14% to 18% were ‘somewhat concerned’ that they won’t have a job, and between 21% and 24% that they would not be able to provide for their household.

Figure 2: Proportion of respondents who were very/extremely concerned about the scenarios shown
Bar chart showing around 1 in 10 were very/extremely concerned, which remained stable from March through to July.

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults (n=1001-1028)

As shown in Figure 3, worry about the effect of restrictions on jobs and the economy has remained high. At the beginning of March, around 8 in 10 respondents either tended to or strongly agreed that they were worried about the long-lasting impact of the restrictions on jobs and the economy. This remained high in April although declined in June, with just over 7 in 10 respondents agreeing they were worried about the long lasting impact of restrictions. On 24-25 August, respondents were asked whether they were worried about the long lasting impact of the ‘pandemic’ on jobs and the economy and over 7 in 10 (73%) agreed.

Figure 3: Proportion of respondents who agreed/disagreed with the statement ‘I am worried about the long-lasting effect of the restrictions on jobs and our economy’ [4]
Bar chart showing that worry remained very high throughout, 39% strongly agreed on 2-3 March and 29% on 24-25 August.

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults (n=1007-1055)

Health impacts

To understand the potential impact on non-COVID related health issues, respondents were asked if they would avoid contacting a GP for immediate non-Coronavirus medical concerns. As shown in Figure 4, from the beginning of March through to August, between 21% and 31% agree that they would avoid contacting their GP even with an immediate medical concern not related to Coronavirus. At the end of August (24/25 August) this had fallen to just over one fifth (21%) of respondents.

Figure 4: Proportion who agreed/disagreed that ‘I would avoid contacting a GP practice at the moment even with an immediate medical concern (not related to Coronavirus)’
Bar chart showing between 21-31% agreed, this was lowest at the end of August.

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults (n=807-1063)

Contact

Email: covid-19.behaviours@gov.scot

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