Over 1,000 responses were received, with summary of results shared below by IW Party spokesperson, Vix Lowthion. Ed
The results of the IW Coronavirus – April 2020 survey are in! Over 1,080 responses were received, with questions covering the initial couple of weeks of the crisis which focused on employment, health and family.
The majority of Islanders (74%) felt that the greatest impact was on their family life, followed by their job (48%) and social/ holiday plans (69%).
Negative impact on third of responders
Over 200 Islanders have seen a significant impact on their business, and a combined 30% of the total responses have seen a reduction in hours or wages, been furloughed or applied for Universal Credit.
A total of 35% of Islanders in the survey are either working from home or self employed who are still working and a third of these have actually seen an increase in hours worked in the last month. The remainder are retired, volunteering in the community or other unpaid work.
This shows that a third of Islanders responding have seen a negative impact on their job and family income – a real concern, especially if this situation continues for a number of months.
Over half concerned about making ends meet
When it comes to affording the basics (rent, food, energy) 51% of Islanders in the survey have voiced some concern about making ends meet.
This puts it at the biggest worry at the moment, narrowly above anxiety over their business or career (45%).
Physical and mental health
Physical health is on the minds of Islanders, with two thirds of the survey responses being concerned or really concerned about avoiding contracting the virus.
Only 33% of Islanders have no concerns about their mental health, but this is likely to become a bigger worry the longer the lockdown continues.
Concern for loved ones
An overwhelming number of those who responded to the survey (90%) showed concern about the health of loved ones, demonstrating that Islanders are taking seriously the threat from Coronavirus.
A third of the responses were not at all concerned about cancelling plans for the summer. Most Islanders are most concerned about missing family (38%) than friends (19%).
What are Islanders doing with all this time on our hands? Well, those who aren’t supporting us as key workers, carers and working for our NHS that is! Surprisingly, we aren’t learning new crafts and hobbies (14%).
Most of us, who are lucky enough to have a garden, are spending time outdoors (56%) and 42% are simply taking life at a slower pace.
One response added,
“I’m valuing clear skies, peace and quiet, reduced traffic, and being able to smell the grass and flowers instead of pollution.”
79% of those who responded have rarely travelled anywhere, including to work.
The vast majority of those surveyed are following government advice: 83% say they are shopping for food only once a week or less, and 37% are exercising once a day. Good work!
Support for key workers
On a positive note, the responders to the survey were incredibly grateful for the contribution of our NHS workers (90%) followed by Emergency workers, carers and supermarket staff (88%).
At the bottom of the pile were politicians and leaders with 37% saying they have made little to no contribution to the national effort.
An exhaustive list of hundreds of local, Isle of Wight workers were specifically recognised including:
Living Larder, Barrowboys, Yarbridge Inn, Postal workers, refuse collectors, Pop-up Soup Kitchen, social workers, clergy, funeral directors, pharmacists, Parish and Town councils, West Wight Sports Centre, IW Foodbank, Bob Seely MP, HMP Isle of Wight, Age UK, Mountbatten, Internet providers, local shop deliveries, and many more.
The final number of THANK YOUS stretched to 65 A4 pages full of testimonies.
Local news from trusted sources
One responder added
“This lock-down has given me the opportunity to stop and reflect on my lifestyle and my priorities. It has allowed me to stay at home much more, to walk more and reconnect with nature.
“Much less traffic has reduced noise and pollution. I am so glad that I live in a small community, close to the countryside and coast.
“I am also relieved that I again have access to the Internet at home, after a gap of several years when I had to use libraries. I need it more than ever to receive local news from On The Wight and national and international news from trusted sources.”
Keep connecting and listening
Vix Lowthion, IW Green Party spokesperson, added,
“It’s really important to keep connecting and listening to each other, even though we are isolating and socially distancing on a daily basis.
“Whilst Islanders are anxious about their job and their health, we are also incredibly grateful for the way our community has really pulled together to help each other out.
“Reading all the comments made me so proud to live on our wonderful Isle of Wight!”
A new, May 2020 survey will go public later this week which will look at mental health, young people, use of technology and what the people of the Isle of Wight think about the challenges of next few months ahead.
You can read the full results of the survey in the document below. Click on the full screen icon to see larger version.