At a time when physical distancing is part of everyday reality, it is more important than ever to find like-minded tribes and communities that we can identify with, learn from and go to for ideas and inspiration. It would seem that when it comes to research in this brave-ish new world, the same rule applies.
Last week, the Policy Institute at King’s College London published its findings on how we have reacted and responded to coronavirus and the lockdown measures. It is confident that after conducting a survey*, we can all be segmented into one of three broad categories.
The magic of the number three has been used to good effect. Marketers often play with this number, because choosing from a selection of three is manageable. Ask an economist and they’ll tell you that consumers prefer oligopolies – basically, a range of options but not too many choices.
So, which one of the three groups do you fit into? Perhaps you are tempted by some Venn diagram investigations to see if you sit somewhere in between…
The accepting (48% of the UK)
It will come as no surprise that the accepting make up a cheerful group, with only 12% saying that they are losing sleep over the pandemic. This is the group with the lowest number of people believing in conspiracy theories. This group looks to face fears with love and acceptance. Very few are arguing (6%) and only 8% are feeling more anxious than they did before lockdown. Could that be because this group is least likely to check social media feeds for coronavirus updates?
Financial difficulties? More than half of this group say they’re certain or at least very likely to face them in the future, but interesting that only 1% have turned to prescription medication to deal with their anxiety.
The suffering (44% of the UK)
Ninety-three percent of this group reports feeling more worried since lockdown. Interestingly, the vast majority (93% and 85% respectively) support lockdown measures and police powers. Though the situation makes this group anxious, with 34% saying they think about coronavirus all the time, only 6% of the group has turned to prescription medication to calm their troubled minds. Admirable when one considers that nearly half of the group feel certain that they will experience financial hardship in the future. Only 7% think that too much fuss is made about the pandemic whilst 70% (the biggest group) are critical of the government, believing that it acted too slowly to control the spread of the virus.
The resisting (9% of the UK)
This is the group that rebels. Just under half say they’re following lockdown rules (almost) which is much lower than other groups. One of the possible reasons cited for this resistance could be explained by the fact that this group is the most likely to have experienced significant personal financial impact and is therefore rebelling against the new status quo. The resisting group also has its own methods of dealing with the situation at hand. It is more likely to take steps that are not part of official advice – so taking herbal supplements (60%) and using homeopathic remedies (50%). Healthy options? Not when you consider that 39% of this group is drinking more alcohol than normal versus 23% of the suffering and 12% of the accepting.
*Ipsos MORI survey conducted early April 2020