Coronavirus: Study reveals three different ways Britons responding to lockdown

‘The large bulk of the population are fully behind the measures,’ says King’s College London

Britons fall into one of three categories in terms of how they are responding to the lockdown, new research has found.

Analysis of an Ipsos MORI survey of 2,250 people conducted in early April by King’s College London has found that members of the UK population are either accepters, sufferers, or resisters.

According to the research, the most common group is the acceptors, which accounts for 48 per cent of Britons.

As the name suggests, these people have accepted the new way of life as imposed on them by the lockdown, which means they are sleeping well and not feeling anxious.

King’s College London found that just 12 per cent of people in this group are losing sleep over the pandemic while very few (6 per cent) are arguing with those they live with and only eight per cent are have felt anxious or depressed since lockdown began.

These people are also the least likely to check social media on a daily basis, the study found.

More than nine in 10 (91 per cent) of the acceptors said they support lockdown measures and an additional 87 per cent said they are following the rules.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent of those surveyed fall into the suffering category, in which 93 per cent of people have reported feeling anxious or depressed since lockdown.

More than half (64 per cent) of this group said they are sleeping worse than usual while the same number said they are checking social media daily or more frequently.

Nonetheless, the majority of people in this group (93 per cent) are still supportive of the lockdown measures.

As for the final group, the resistors, these people make up nine per cent of the population and only half (49 per cent) of them are following the lockdown rules entirely.

These people also showed less support for lockdown measures and are much less likey to be following social distancing guidelines.

More than half (58 per cent) said that “too much fuss is being made about the risk of coronavirus”.

The analysis also found that this group is also the most likely to expect significant personal financial impact from the crisis, which may explain their resistance to the measures.

In an article about the analysis for The Conversation, Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, explained that the analysis found notable political disparities between the three groups.

“There are also differences in political support, with the Accepting significantly more likely to be Conservative supporters, the Resisting more likely to support Labour, while the Suffering are most likely of the three groups to be Remain supporters,” he wrote.

Countries with no reported coronavirus cases

“Each of these patterns will partly reflect the different age and gender profiles of party and Brexit support.”

Mr Duffy added that it is imperative to understand how different groups are reacting to the lockdown in order to maintain compliance with the rules.

“Given the very different experiences within the population already, it seems unlikely that we’ll see the same unity on the long road to exiting as we had with the sudden lockdown,” he added.

“Instead, growing poles of opinion seem more likely. The government is not going to please everyone, or be able to point to a blindingly clear ‘public will’ that justifies its response.”

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