More concerned for those vulnerable to COVID-19 than for their own health, poll shows

A silver lining: Majority believe pandemic will bring them closer to family and friends.

A majority of people surveyed across the world are most concerned for people who are vulnerable or weak amid the coronavirus pandemic even as lockdowns and closures force millions to isolate themselves.

In 13 of the 15 countries, majorities cited concern for those who are weak and vulnerable at the top of a list of 10 options when asked what best describes how they are feeling today. People in Brazil (70%), Spain and the United Kingdom (66%), Mexico (61%) and Canada, France and Italy (60%) are mostly likely to express concern for others, while those in Japan (23%) and China (30%) are least concerned.

Fewer people are anxious about their own health, which ranked in the middle of the list of the 10 scenarios.

Are you concerned for those who are vulnerable or weak amid covid-19? | Ipsos

Are you anxious about your health amid covid-19 | Ipsos

Darrell Bricker, Global Service Line Leader, Public Affairs, said the findings show that while we may be alone because of social distancing measures, there are signs this crisis is pulling us closer together.

“Even though many of us are avoiding physical contact with other people, it hasn’t diminished our desire to be emotionally connected to them or to the wider world,” said Bricker.

Added to this, a majority (53%) of people surveyed said it’s likely the pandemic will bring them closer to their family and friends. This sentiment is strongest in Asian countries of India (72%), Vietnam (70%), and China (67%). Those in Japan (19%), South Korea (32%) and Germany (41%) are least likely to agree with this.

Do you think you will become closer to family and friends as a result of covid-19 | Ipsos

Many of us are trying to put our new found alone time to good use during this crisis. Two in five (44%) of those surveyed are optimistic they will likely learn a new skill as a result of the outbreak. This sentiment is highest in emerging markets of Vietnam (75%), India (74%), Mexico (64%), China (63%) and Brazil (60%), while those in Germany (42%), South Korea (33%), Spain (32%) and the U.K. (31%) said it was unlikely.

“Almost half of us are looking at this as a glass half full situation that’s freeing up space for personal growth,” said Bricker.

Do you think you will learn a new skill as a result of covid-19 | Ipsos

These are the results of an Ipsos survey conducted March 26th to 30th, 2020 on the Global Advisor online platform among 28,000 adults aged 18-74 in Canada and the United States and 16-74 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. Where available, tracking results from Wave 3, conducted February 28-29, February 14-15, and February 7-9 are presented. Sample sizes in previous waves were 1,000 per country.

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