Australians more anxious, stressed amid Covid: Survey

Canberra, Sep 16 (IANS): A majority of Australians believe that their lives have gotten worse since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey revealed on Thursday.

According to the survey of more than 3,000 people, which was published by the Australian National University (ANU), Australians felt more negative about the future than they did at the start of the pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

The poll was conducted with about half of the Australian population in lockdown in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales and Victoria.

"The dramatic changes in the past four months have led to declines in life satisfaction, worsening in psychological distress and an increase in loneliness across Australia," Nicholas Biddle, the co-author of the study, said in a media release.

More than 60 per cent of respondents said they were anxious or worried about coronavirus, up from 49.8 per cent in April.

The number of Australians who said they were concerned about contracting the virus almost tripled from 10.7 per cent in April to 30.8 per cent in August.

Half of the respondents said they were more stressed this year than in 2020, and over one quarter said their relationships had become more strained in 2021.

Confidence in the federal government's handling of the pandemic fell from 45.5 per cent in April to 40.6 per cent while faith in state and territory governments fell from 67.2 to 62.1 per cent in the same time period.

"These lockdown blues are impacting on people's reflections on their own lives," co-author Matthew Gray said.

"Australians are more likely to think that their life had gotten worse, were more likely to say that they felt more negative about the future than they were in May, were more stressed, and more likely to say that their relationship had got more difficult or strained."

The report was published as Australia's overall Covid-19 infection tally has increased to 78,545, while the death toll stood at 1,116.



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