How are you feeling about loosening public health measures?

As we prepare to move to Alert Level 2 here in New Zealand in just a few hours time, there will be new freedoms again, as well as the ability to go to the shops and services that have been been closed up until now, and return to some workplaces too.

How are you feeling about this? Shortly after the move to Alert Level 2 was announced on the afternoon on 11 May, I asked Twitter what people were feeling in a simple poll, and here’s how people responded.

So, some two days later, and after over 1500 people responded, over 50% of people endorsed the option that we could move cautiously forward. Some 12-14% reported feeling pretty enthusiastic about this move, but a good 1/3 of respondents indicated that they were feeling a bit anxious about the move. Now, this is in no way a scientific poll, or a particularly complex analysis. but it does add to a picture that although many people, perhaps even the majority, welcome this move to something more like a normal experience of daily life, around 33% feel anxious about this move. Considering that we’ve been asked to act like we have the virus, and to treat any kind of exposure to others in a way to minimise the spread of any possible infection, this is perhaps not surprising.

Any return to normal life will have to happen at different speeds for different people, according to their need for predictability, psychological safety, and their need for a span of control that they have agency over.

More tomorrow about anxiety and risk aversion.

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