Covid survey
The pandemic may be with us in some form for a while yet. Image – Canva.
  • 26% Australians believe we are at least a year away from life returning to 'normal'
  • 14% thought this way, back in November last year
  • 16% believe life will 'never' return to normal

Amid extended lockdowns in our largest capital city, more Australians believe we are at least a year away from life returning to ‘normal’, compared to six months ago.

In a June 2021 ABS survey, 26% replied that it will take another 12 months before we could expect to be able to mix again freely, unimpeded, take overseas holidays and the like (remember them?).

A further 16% believed life would ‘never’ return to normal, and 20% continue to express high or very high levels of psychological distress, brought on by the Covid pandemic and its effects on our daily lives.

These results were from a period prior (11-20 June) to the recent Delta variant outbreaks in Sydney, so the actual feeling may be even worse than in this survey.

Not only that, but the results are worse than when the ABS last surveyed the public in November 2020. At that time, 14% thought we were still a year away from returning to normal.

Perhaps reality is sinking in. We are going to living in and among this virus for some time, even when most of us have been fully vaccinated.

What is ‘normal’, anyway?

Of course, what ‘returning to normal’ means is not really defined. The pandemic has changed life forever in some respects. In some cases, trends have been accelerated. In many ways, how we will regard work, home life, our homes, commuting, flexibility and other parts of our daily life such as buying goods online may have changed forever.

In some ways, we are sailing through Covid, even though some believe we might be sailing away from it.

“In June 2021, behaviours like washing hands or using hand sanitiser regularly had decreased to 85% from 95% in September 2020, keeping a physical distance from people had decreased to 63% from 88% in September, and disinfecting surfaces had decreased to 43% from 64%.”

David Zago, ABS Head of Household Surveys

The survey also asked if people had received their vaccinations.

“In June 2021, one in three Australians (33%) aged 18 years and over reported that they had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

“People who reported disability were more likely than those without disability to have received a vaccination (46% compared with 28%).”

Of Australians who had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, 90% reported that it was very or moderately easy to get one.

According to the Department of Health website, as of this morning, total vaccine doses administered in Australia was 9.3 million (154,209 over the past day).

Covid vaccines 12July
Covid vaccines administered, as of 12 July. Source: Department of Health.
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