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Survey finds 68% of NI people anxious or stressed over virus


Three quarters of people in Northern Ireland worry about the effect Covid-19 is having on their life, a survey has revealed.

Just 49% believe it will be more than a year before life returns to normal while 8% say life will never return to normal.

The results are based on 6,357 interviews conducted with members of the public between April 21 to November 7 as part of the Covid-19 Opinion Survey and prior to the rollout of the vaccine.

Overall, seven out of 10 said that they were very or somewhat worried about the effect Covid-19 was having on their lives.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

This was an increase on the June to September period, when this figure was in the 68%-70% range and marked a return to the levels of worry reported in April (75%) and May (77%).

The proportion of people who said it would be more than a year before life returned to normal also increased from 21% in April to 56% in October. The most common response (55%) to how the pandemic was affecting people's lives was the ability to make plans. The top ranking concern was that people's well-being was being affected with 68% feeling stressed or anxious while 63% were worried about the future and 42% felt bored.

Meanwhile 33% felt their mental health was getting worse and 29% reported feeling lonely.

Of those interviewed between September and November about accessing healthcare, 81% said they would be comfortable seeking advice on the phone from a health professional while 76% said they would be happy attending an online appointment and 77% said they would attend an appointment in person.

Just over half (55%) said they would be comfortable attending A&E if they had an urgent health problem but 34% said they would feel uncomfortable doing so.

The survey found continued financial concerns during the pandemic with almost three out of 10 people expecting their household position to get worse in the next 12 months. Some 61% expected their financial situation to stay the same while 11% felt it would get better.

Belfast Telegraph