This report deals with various issues regarding the “post-COVID-19 era,” coined as such on account of its social, political, and economic impacts. The world is changing in a new direction, which signifies a metamorphosis of the global society. This report draws on the World COVID-19 Pandemic and Citizen Life Survey conducted between the 23rd of April and the 5th of June 2020 with 15.312 respondents. The sample was collected via a Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI) applying the stratified sampling method. As a global survey, this report outlines the responses of citizens from 30 cities, and the questions focus on their responses to COVID-19, their varying behavior in the course of the pandemic, their confidence in authorities, their support and/or opposition for stringency measures, and their political attitudes. In this particular file, the case of Seoul will be presented. For more detailed survey results, please refer to the attached file.
Review of COVID-19 Pandemic
- Of a list of individual disease prevention measures, Seoul respondents reported being most actively involved in wearing masks (4.73/5) to prevent infection of COVID-19.
- When asked about the economic consequences of the pandemic, 43.3% of the Seoul respondents said they would lose more than half of their income if they were to experience a 14-day-quarantine. The global average for the same figure was 30%.
- The Seoul respondents experienced a different degree of the following social impacts: medical appointment difficulties (8%), school closings (37%), and workplace closings (25%). The proportion of Seoul respondents experiencing these three situations was significantly smaller than the global average.
Anxiety and Hope
- If they were infected, the Seoul citizens surveyed would feel more anxious about the impacts on their families (4.46/5) than the world average (3.46/5) and feel more worried about the impact on their friends (4.37/5) than the global average (3.38/5). Compared to other cities, it was characteristic that Seoul respondents would have very high concerns and anxiety about their family and friends, if they were infected.
- A large proportion of Seoul respondents (82.1%) answered they would feel anxious if they bumped into someone not wearing a face mask. In comparison, the global average for this figure was 69%.
- Seoul respondents reported feeling depressed (2.68/4), restless with their sleep (2.67/4), and lonely (2.68/4) at this time during the pandemic. The respective global average scores are 2.62, 2.50, and 2.70.
- In regard to their sense of hope about the future, 12.07% of the Seoul respondents said they have “Never” felt hopeful about the future during the pandemic. In comparison, 11.25% of the global citizens answered the same way.
Citizen’s evaluation of government COVID-19 policies
- Seoul respondents on average gave their own government’s COVID-19 management performance a score of 4.3 points out of 5, which was the second highest of all cities in the survey. The global average was 3.43.
- When asked to give a score to each government, the Seoul respondents gave South Korea the highest score of 4.02 out of 5 and Japan the lowest score of 1.3 out of 5.
- Considering five aspects of COVID-19 management policies (providing information on testing and the prevention of the epidemic, providing medical care assurance for patients, preventing the spread of infectious diseases, ensuring the emotional stability of the public, and ensuring medical staff safety), the Seoul respondents were least satisfied with ensuring medical staff safety (3.46/5).
- In general, the Seoul respondents were more likely to agree with closing of worship places and with an internal moving ban than the global average.
- Among the four stringency measures (school closings, closing of worship places, an entry ban of foreigners, and an internal moving ban), Seoul respondents agreed with an internal moving ban the least (3.15/4).
Democracy or Authoritarianism
- On a scale of 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating a higher degree of satisfaction with their government, the Seoul respondents on average rated their satisfaction level 3.03 for human rights and 2.96 for democracy.
- Regarding COVID-19 risk management, the Seoul respondents were on average in favor of government decisions over citizens' judgments.
- Meanwhile, the Seoul respondents supported rule by order, as opposed to rule of law, much more than the world average.
Impacts of the Global Pandemic on National Level Consequences
- Regarding the national economy, 82.6% of the Seoul respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” In comparison, the global average for this figure was 76.7%.
- As for social trust, 57.9% said the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 56.1%.
- In the case of living standards, 71.2% said the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 65.4%.
- On the quality of democracy, 42.6% said that the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 45.5%.
- The Seoul respondents reported trusting their family members (3.63/4) the most, followed by their colleagues (2.87/4), their neighbors (2.75/4), and immigrants (1.85/4).
- Regarding the various institutions providing COVID-19 information, the Seoul respondents reported trusting central government (2.97/4) more than the global average (2.71/4).
- Meanwhile, the reported level of trust by the Seoul respondents in the information provided by the foreign media (2.6/4) was higher than the domestic media (2.38/4).
- On a scale of 1 to 5 with higher scores indicating a higher frequency of communication with their acquaintances (family members, colleagues/customers, neighbors), the Seoul respondents on average scored the frequency 2.7 with family members, 2.12 with colleagues/customers, and 2.06 with neighbors. The respective world average scores were 3.21, 2.59, 2.57. The result shows that the Seoul respondents reduced their talks with their acquaintances more than the global average.
- Seoul respondents’ level of frequency of using SNS to communicate was 3.45 out of 4 and level of frequency of using messengers to communicate was 3.62 out of 4. In comparison, the respective world average scores were 3.34 and 3.38.
- We asked how often global citizens discussed about COVID-19. We provided a 4-point scale with higher scores indicating higher frequency. Seoul respondents scored 3.2. In comparison, the global average was 3.21.
Human Life after COVID-19
- On a scale of 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating more agreement that the “community is doomed to lose its function,” Seoul respondents scored 2.61. As for the statement “We don’t need community. Individual freedom is enough,” Seoul respondent scored 1.82. The respective global averages were 2.54 and 2.29.
- Seoul respondents’ average degrees of agreement to the following statements predicting what the future will be like after the pandemic, “The future cannot be predicted,” “The life will be more unstable,” and “We should realize the fundamental uncertainty of life,” were 6.84/10, 5.76/10, and 5.18/10. The respective global averages were 6.95/10, 6.28/10, and 5.26/10.