Our Covid-19 survey shows most against further lockdowns

NURSE GIVING BOOSTER JAB

our million booster vaccines have already been administered in the UK. - Credit: PA - Credit: PA

Most people say their lives have been disrupted by Covid-19 and a majority are against further lockdowns, a new survey by this newspaper has revealed.

The North Norfolk News has this month conducted an online poll to gauge people's views and experiences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the survey is unverified and the locations, ages or other details of those taking part was not requested, the results offer a compelling insight into current views of the pandemic and the nation's response to it.  

Some of the results of the North Norfolk News survey about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the results of the North Norfolk News survey about the Covid-19 pandemic. - Credit: Archant

Of the 451 people who responded, 28.2pc said the pandemic had disrupted their lives 'hugely' while another 32.4pc said things had changed 'a lot'. A further 23.1pc said they had only had to make a few changes due to Covid and 16.4pc said their lives had changed 'not much at all'. 

Just over a quarter of people (28.4pc) said they had had Covid-19, while 14.4pc said they think they had the disease, but had not had a positive test. Another 57.2pc said they had not had Covid.

Of those who said they had had Covid, almost half said their symptoms were either mild or they did not have any at all. Of the remainder, most their symptoms were 'moderate' - similar to a fever or a flu, while 13 people said they were 'very ill' but stayed at home, and five people said they were 'very seriously' ill and were hospitalised.  

But respondents were split over whether there should be further lockdowns. In the survey, 57.6pc said we should not have any more, while 14pc said we should but only in extreme circumstances. Another 28.4pc said if another lockdown was necessary, we should do it.

The survey also asked people to comment on their thoughts or experiences with Covid-19.

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Some people commented that they thought Covid was "something we needed to learn to live with" while others expressed concern about the threat of contracting the disease. 

One person said: "The biggest impact has been the sadness at the irresponsibility of those who continue to do exactly what they want to with no regard for anyone else."

Another person said: "I am coming to the end of my life and I feel like the last two years have been taken away from me," and somebody else said "It’s unfair now ex-shielders now have to go back to work in environments where social distancing and fresh air are impossible".

Somebody else said they thought we should "carry on as normal and let individuals decide what they feel safe doing, not shut things and cancel things for people not vaccinated".

Another response was "My 18-year-old son has incurable cancer and recently had a stroke we are extremely careful. It causes us anxiety when people are blasé and dismissive of the guidance and rules as it could mean life or death to someone like him." 

Further results

When asked 'how often do you take a test for Covid-19?' 47.7pc said never; 27.9pc said once a week; 15.5pc said twice a week; 6.2pc said three times a week and 2.7pc said every day. 

Face coverings have become the most visible daily reminder of the pandemic's daily presence in our lives. But in the survey, only 60.5pc of people said they always wore a face mask when required, while 28.6pc said they did not, and another 10.9pc said they did not because they had an exemption. 

One person commented: "It worries me the amount of people that don't wear masks or social distance."

Somebody else said they "refused to wear a mask" because they considered it "all blown up out of proportion".

When asked if they knew anyone who had or has long Covid, 68.5pc of respondents said no, and 31.4 said yes. A total of 72.1pc said they had the Test and Trace app while 27.9pc said they did not. 

When asked if they knew anyone who had Covid-19, 30.4pc said yes, while 69.6p said no. 

Where to from here? Latest Covid-19 figures

Latest government data shows Covid-19 case rates across North Norfolk and Broadland districts is roughly comparable with the rest of of the county. 

In the week to January 7, 1,220 cases were reported in North Norfolk (1,160 per 100,000 people) and 1,743 were reported in Broadland (1,321 per 100,000). The total for Norfolk over the same timeframe was 12,244 cases (1,339 per 100,000 people).

Prof Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia's School of Medicine, said Norfolk was probably lagging behind the rest of the country, but that case rates might have peaked - or would very soon.

Prof Paul Hunter, from the UEA, has encouraged people to donate to the WHO's Covid-19 Response Fund

Prof Paul Hunter, from the UEA, has encouraged people to donate to the WHO's Covid-19 Response Fund - Credit: UEA

He said: "It's quite likely that we're a couple of weeks behind London and we could convince ourselves that it might be beginning to plateau, but it is a bit tricky to be sure.

"We are not out of it by some way, but I think there are reasons for optimism."