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 Sydney 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, Sydney respondents reported being more actively involved in most items than the global average. The only exception was wearing masks, in which the Sydney respondents reported being less actively involved.
- When asked about the economic consequences of the pandemic, 25.7% of the Sydney 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 Sydney respondents experienced a different degree of the following social impacts: medical appointment difficulties (39%), school closings (42%), and workplace closings (27%). The proportion of Sydney respondents who faced these daily difficulties were less than the world average.
Anxiety and Hope
- If they were infected, the Sydney citizens surveyed would feel more anxious about the impacts on their families (3.77/5) than the world average (3.46/5) and feel more worried about the impact on their friends (3.58/5) than the global average (3.38/5).
- A large proportion of Sydney respondents (41.2%) said they would feel “Not Very Anxious” or “Not Anxious at all” if they bumped into someone not wearing a face mask. The global average for the same figure was 29%.
- Sydney respondents reported feeling depressed (2.68/4), restless with their sleep (2.37/4), and lonely (2.68/4) at this time during the pandemic. The respective global average scores were 2.62, 2.50, and 2.70.
- In regard to their sense of hope about the future, 8.76% of the Sydney 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
- Sydney respondents on average gave their own government’s COVID-19 management performance a score of 3.9 points out of 5. The global average was 3.43.
- When asked to give a score to each government, the Sydney respondents gave New Zealand the highest score of 4.03 out of 5 and the United States the lowest score of 2.17 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), Sydney respondents were generally satisfied with their country's quarantine policy. The aspect that had Sydney respondents the least satisfied was ensuring the emotional stability of the public (3.65/5).
- In general, the Sydney respondents were less likely to agree with school closings but more likely to agree with an internal moving ban than the global average.
Democracy or Authoritarianism
- On a scale of 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating a higher degree of satisfaction with their government, the Sydney respondents on average rated their satisfaction level 3.1 for human rights and 3.12 for democracy. Overall, Sydney respondents are highly satisfied with their country's democracy and human rights protection.
- We then asked Sydney citizens their opinions about emergency measures. On a scale of 1 to 10 with higher scores indicating a stronger belief that emergency measures will move the society more toward a democratic society, Sydney respondents scored 5.84 out of 10, while global citizens scored 5.52 out of 10.
- Regarding COVID-19 risk management, the Sydney respondents were on average in favor of government decisions over citizens' judgments.
- Meanwhile, the Sydney respondents supported rule of law more than supported rule by order.
Priorities of Quarantine Governance
- Sydney respondents’ level of support for prioritizing basic civil rights in COVID-19 management was 4.53 out of 10 on average, while the world average was 4.45.
- Sydney respondents’ level of agreement that economic recovery is more important than social distancing was 4.91 out of 10. The world average was 4.65.
Impacts of the Global Pandemic on National Level Consequences
- Regarding the national economy, 74.5% of the Sydney 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, 43.2% 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, 49% 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, 36.9% 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%.
- Overall, Sydney respondents said the negative impact of COVID-19 on their nation was less than the global average.
- The Sydney respondents reported trusting their family members (3.52) the most, followed by their colleagues (2.94), their neighbors (2.86), and immigrants (2.39).
- Compared to the world average, Sydney respondents had a higher level of trust in neighbors, colleagues, and immigrants.
- Of the various institutions providing COVID-19 information, the Sydney respondents reported trusting medical experts (3.33/4) the most and social media (2.27/4) the least.
Fairness and Representation
- When considering the fairness of income distribution, Sydney respondents ranked 7th place out of 28 cities with a fairness perception score of 5.16 out of 10.
- When considering the fairness of educational opportunity, Sydney respondents ranked 8th place with a fairness perception score of 5.88.
- When considering the fairness of gender relations, Sydney respondents ranked 11th place with a fairness perception score of 5.92.
- When considering the fairness of political participation, Sydney respondents ranked 7th place with a fairness perception score of 5.94.
- When considering the fairness of minority rights, Sydney respondents ranked 12th place with a fairness perception score of 5.75.
- When considering the fairness of public debate, Sydney respondents ranked 5th place with a fairness perception score of 5.71.
- When considering the fairness of representation of political parties, Sydney respondents ranked 3rd place with a fairness perception score of 5.71.
- 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 Sydney respondents on average scored the frequency 3.23 with family members, 2.84 with colleagues/customers, and 2.79 with neighbors. The respective world average scores were 3.21, 2.59, and 2.57.
- Sydney respondents’ level of frequency of using SNS to communicate was 3.18 out of 4 and level of frequency of using messengers to communicate was 3.12 out of 4. In comparison, the respective world average scores were 3.34 and 3.38.
- We then asked how often global citizens discussed about COVID-19. We provided a 4-point scale with higher scores indicating higher frequency. Sydney respondents scored 3.15. 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,” Sydney respondents scored 2.49. As for the statement “We don’t need community. Individual freedom is enough,” Sydney respondent scored 2.36. The respective global averages were 2.54 and 2.29.
- Sydney 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 7.06/10, 6.27/10, and 5.63/10. The respective global averages were 6.95, 6.28, and 5.26.