As Melbourne shakes off being the most locked-down city in the world, the latest national research by Bastion shows a story of a city full of optimism, fear and anxiety, as it ends what it hopes will be its last lockdown.
Victorian’s life satisfaction and optimism both increased significantly over the last month. At the same time, Victorian’s have a severe case of reopening anxiety as psychological distress levels hit an all-time high, and concern of exposure to COVID is the highest across the country.
It is also Victorians, who have complied with the greatest restrictions on individual’s rights throughout the pandemic, who are now the most defensive of upholding their rights to choose to be vaccinated or not, and not to penalise those who don’t.
The level of concern in the community remains high although it is declining at a national level. In Victoria, the story is different with concern at an all-time high around the economy with 8 in 10 Victorians concerned about the economy, while health and personal concerns remain relatively stable. With lockdowns now lifting, it is a waiting game to see how quickly business bounces back. Will we see Victorians bounce back like they did last year, or will we see more consequences of the most extended lockdown in the world?
Dianne Gardiner, executive director of Bastion Insights and author of the survey over the last 18 months, said: “Victorians have endured so much more than any other state through the pandemic, it’s not surprising to see Victorians both embrace and, at the same time struggle, as they enter the next phase of what is the pandemic roller-coaster of uncertainty.”
The research has shown optimism and life satisfaction have seen significant rebounds as states announce the lifting of lockdown restrictions. Australians’ life satisfaction increased up to 66 per cent since the last wave of Bastion’s research, with VIC showing the greatest rebound up 11pp to 59 per cent.
We are seeing the hope of lockdown lifting in VIC coming through in Victorian’s life satisfaction and similar patterns in optimism for the future with 63 per cent of Victorians feeling optimistic, up a massive 19pp from September.
Peter Harris, Co-CEO at Bastion Insights, said: “Time and time again with this study we have seen how resilient Australians are, and can be.
“This is a unique time in business, and life, where there is a mix of optimism and anxiety for Australians and brands will have to navigate this and the enormous changes in customer buyer behaviour that we have seen happen. The brands that will win are those confident with their understanding of customers and they are clear on what exception brand experiences can deliver post lockdown,”
Gardiner said: “It is great to see Victorian’s optimism and life satisfaction bounce back as lockdown lifts, but at the same time, it is also not surprising that many Victorians may struggle with the reopening, as the research shows Victorian’s anxiety has hit an all-time high.
“Almost 1 in 2 Victorians have felt anxious in the last week, well above the 1 in 3 peak we have seen at times through the pandemic.
“Reopening anxiety is a real thing and having spent 262 days lockdown in total, it is going to take more for Victorians to adjust, and it’s important for people to know that it is normal to have these conflicting thoughts about reopening.
“Whether this is concern about exposure to DELTA, or social anxiety of coming out of their bubble, Victorians are feeling more vulnerable than ever before. Learning to live with COVID is likely to be hardest for those who have been living in lockdown the longest.”
The research shows Australia’s concern over exposure differs across settings but also states. It is at larger events (67 per cent) and while travelling on planes and at airports (66 per cent), Australians feel most exposed. But it is also on public transport (60 per cent) and at shopping centres (56 per cent), restaurants, cafes, pubs and similar venues (51 per cent) that we feel most at risk. Workplaces (33 per cent) and personal gatherings with friends and family (30 per cent) are perceived as lower risks.
But as lockdown lifts, Victorians are more concerned than other states about now being exposed to COVID. While there are many who are eagerly awaiting ‘getting out’, there is also a higher level of concern that may translate to hesitancy in reengaging with social activities and events.
The research also shows that while the majority of Australians (72 per cent) agree it is everyone’s responsibility to be vaccinated to help protect others, when it comes to our rights to choose to be vaccinated or not, there is more division with 54 per cent of Australians agreeing, 27 per cent disagreeing. And it is Victorians who are more likely to agree it is an individual’s right to choose (63. per cent) and more than 1 in 2 agreeing individuals who choose not to be vaccinated should not be penalised.
Gardiner added: “Our research shows, Victorians, who have experienced the greatest restrictions on individual’s rights throughout the pandemic, are now the most defensive of upholding their rights.
“Over the last month, Victorians have witnessed riots over construction workers being shut down for two weeks and ordered to be double vaccinated before returning to work, and following this the mandatory vaccination health directions for all authorised workers in Victoria was released and came into effect by 15 October.
“Despite the risks related to the unvaccinated, more than 1 in 2 Victorians agree individuals who choose not to be vaccinated should not be penalised, simply shows Victorians are over being ordered what to do.”
Cannes in Cairns, presented by Pinterest, is thrilled to announce that none other than Microsoft will be hosting an offsite networking lunch at Cairns’ stunning Salt House restaurant on Thursday the 3rd of February as part of the event’s packed agenda. As a silver partner to the event, Microsoft (who, we’re sure you’ll agree needs […]
Creative design marketplace, DesignCrowd, has announced reaching the milestone of one million registered designers on its global platform. The Aussie crowdsourcing start-up currently has a 1,004,000-strong freelance designer network, which has grossed over $A62 million since the company’s 2008 launch. The network have completed over 26 million graphic, logo and web designs for both small […]
The Chiefs and Optus today announce a partnership extension that will see the brands continue to collaborate around gaming content in Australia for a further 12 months. The news follows a successful 12-month partnership, including members of The Chiefs featuring in Optus’ Gamer Plan launch supporting the development of Optus’ Streaming Booth. Much of the […]
During the month of October, $A8.5 million was spent in digital travel advertising and digital impressions were up almost 40 per cent from September, according to the Nielsen Ad Intel report. The report found that the top advertisers amongst cruise lines from October in order are Emerald Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Royal Caribbean. Amongst the […]
Integral Ad Science (IAS) announced the expansion of its context control solution for advertisers and publishers globally to give customers more control over the context of digital ad placements. IAS CEO, Lisa Utzschneider (featured image), gave insight into the enhancement, saying: “We first launched context control to help our customers transform their targeting strategies, and […]
Programmatic video advertising platform Unruly has introduced content level targeting that standardises attributes across genre and rating segments enabling scaled buying on premium video content. Today Unruly announced the introduction of its content level inventory that segments inventory based on publisher bidstream attributes that mirror linear TV buys, such as genre and rating. The solution […]
Golden Circle is bringing a splash of sunshine to the Australian Summer with the launch of an innovative, SmilePay vending machine. The machine was created by 72andSunny, and software development company, Enabled 2 GO Technologies. It uses existing smile recognition software to recognise an Aussie smile and in return release a complimentary ice-gold Golden Circle fruit drink […]
Almost half (49 per cent) of Australia’s marketing, media, and communications employees feel their managers are showing little, if any, concern for their mental wellbeing, a new report has found. The report – conducted on behalf of the Australian College of Applied Professions in October 2021 – surveyed 1000 nationally represented workers and found some […]
Meta has partnered with creative agency, Now We Collide to showcase the strength and resilience of small businesses around Australia. The campaign “Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found,” features the stories of four Australian businesses including Singing Magpie (SA), BoardSox (VIC), D-STILL Drinkware (QLD) and Survival Emergency Solutions (NSW). Each story shows how the business […]
The internet is invaluable but cyber security fears are keeping Australians offline. According to new research released today by the .au Domain Administration (auDA), almost 90 per cent of Australians say the Internet has a positive impact on their lives. Moreover, almost all small businesses (98 per cent) depend on the Internet as an invaluable […]