The study comes as a psychologist highlights preliminary research showing Britons are among the most anxious about Covid compared to the US, China and Europe. Following the announcement that July 19 is set to see the end to compulsory social distancing and mask wearing, a new survey reveals many Brits are anxious about the loosening of restrictions due to heightened post pandemic health concerns
The survey of 2,006 adults carried out by Medical ID charity, MedicAlert showed 77 percent of UK adults are anxious about the loosening of lockdown restrictions and, despite the final roadmap out of lockdown confirming the rule of six for gatherings is to be scrapped, thirty-five percent of those polled plan to stay away from crowds and social gatherings.
Separate work carried out by Professor Marcantonio Spada from London’s Southbank University (LSBU) in collaboration with Professor Ana Nikčević from Kingston University found up to one in five have developed a set of behaviours – which they have called Covid anxiety syndrome – are keeping them “stuck in a state of threat and fear” about becoming infected with the virus, and may stop them returning to a normal life.
Figures released last week from their study of 975 people showed up to twenty percent of people is still affected by the syndrome despite government moves to open up.
Age, gender, and vaccination status were not found to be predictors of who might be affected.
It found 40 percent reported avoiding touching things in public spaces and 30 percent reported avoiding public transport for the same reason. Twenty three percent reported avoiding going out to public places and 25 percent strongly reported paying close attention to others displaying possible symptoms of the virus.
Professor Marcantonio Spada, Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health at LSBU, said: “Our data indicates that after one month of re-opening of society many people are still struggling with aspects of Covid anxiety syndrome, a similar figure to what we previously observed during full lockdown.
“This means that there are still many people who find it difficult to disengage from the Covid threat which may make return to normal daily living harder as restrictions ease.”
The team has also carried out global comparisons of 6,000 people using data collected from March 2021. Preliminary findings of this work, carried out in collaboration with Imperial College London show the UK, Italy and the US have fared worse than China, Germany and Sweden in prevalence of Covid anxiety syndrome.