If you ask New Zealanders about their experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown(s), you’ll get a wide range of responses. Stress and worries about family, jobs and the economy, not to mention the virus itself and the implications for the world in general. There’s no doubt that for many of us it has been a trying time, both financially and mentally. But in amongst that anxiety there is, perhaps, also a silver lining. Out of adversity comes opportunity after all, and lockdown has given many of us time and space to reflect; helping us to gain fresh perspective and focus on what’s really important in our lives.
The Southern Cross Healthy Futures study which was developed in partnership with Colmar Brunton revealed a unique and fascinating glimpse into Kiwis’ health and wellbeing at this time. Over 2,000 Kiwis were spoken to before New Zealand went into the first lockdown and another 1,000 were engaged towards the end of Alert Level 4 and as the country transitioned down to Alert Level 3, enabling Southern Cross to track shifts in attitudes and behaviors over this time.
These findings were published in the Southern Cross Healthy Futures Report 2020 and revealed insights into New Zealanders’ physical, emotional and social health and wellbeing. While it’s important to not underestimate the challenges and uncertainties that many Kiwis have faced as a result of the pandemic and lockdown, the research also revealed some interesting positive impacts including having more quality family time and a sense of togetherness.