Report: Your views on our stay-at-home lives

Our recent survey asked how the stay-at-home rules affected your lives, and how you believe it will affect the future.

The responses were both numerous (189 respondents) and thoughtful. We’ve written them up as a full report, recognising that you have provided fascinating snapshot of the varied ways in which the pandemic has affected our lives, as well as your hopes and fears for the medium to long-term future. The bulk of the report has been written by you, with dozens of quotes sampling the hundreds of comments received.

Although the major impacts of the stay-at-home rules are largely (66%) negative, our respondents also documented many positive impacts. Some impacts are to be expected (missing friends and family; the difficulties of working from home), with difficulties varying by demographic: people with family at home were unlikely to report loneliness, or emotional or mental health difficulties.

When asked their views on the decrease of traffic in our streets, the response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Many respondents appreciated increased safety – especially for cyclists and children using local streets – and the ability to cross roads safely. The reduction of traffic noise and pollution was widely welcomed. Responses to the change in traffic patterns were overwhelmingly positive (nearly 30% were coded as “enthusiastic”, using adjectives like: ‘great’, ‘amazing’, ‘fantastic’, ‘superb’, and ‘brilliant’, along with capital letters and exclamation marks!!!!).

Despite problems of personal isolation and unemployment, many people appreciate the opportunity to move safely around the neighbourhood; with many having re-discovered cycling and walking.

The positives particularly highlighted an appreciated of the slowing-down of our lives and having more time, noted by 38%; with one in four appreciating more time with family, and one in five commenting on an increase in friendliness and a sense of community, with neighbours speaking to each other and building community networks. And with 77% spending more time communicating on-line, many appreciated how online video chats have opened up new ways of keeping in touch.

Finally, our views of the future range from grim to optimistic. People were particularly worried for the future of local businesses, with others optimistic about a move to shopping locally. Others hope that we can continue to keep our local streets free of traffic, and recognize the value of parks and open space in planning for the future.

Thanks very much to everyone who participated.

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