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Stuck between the old and new ‘normal’
- Interpreting the COVID-19 safety guidance has not become any easier or clearer, but the responsibility on individuals to apply it correctly is significant
- The effectiveness of current infection control is also unclear, given that infection rate data is not shared regularly and trusted by the public
- Changes in the behaviour of the public are emerging – some are more cautious, while others are more indifferent to the virus, but whether these behaviours continue remains to be seen
- Growth in inequalities may increase further, with the pandemic having disproportionately negative effects on disadvantaged members of society
- Staff returning to the office is a topic still up for debate – some are making a controlled attempt, while others are holding off and only making the office available for those who need it
- Students returning to school are worried about the safety measures, and the issue with A-level results has only added to their and their parents' anxieties
- The safety of care homes has not been in the media in recent months, but those whose parents are in care homes are still concerned for the health and wellbeing of their family
- The ability to attend in-person events and networking is still limited by public transport concerns and doubts about their effectiveness with social distancing and face masks
- Uncertainty around other activities previously taken for granted is still high – staying at home and not going on holidays, or not attending weddings or funerals is increasing isolation and placing growing pressures on mental health
Uncertainty may slow down economic recovery
Previous articles in this series:
- 19/08: COVID-19 outbreak to last at least until February 2021
- 12/08: Trustee sentiment around COVID-19 pandemic deteriorates
- 05/08: Relaxed attitudes towards COVID-19 threaten economic recovery
- 29/07: Does COVID-19 mean the ‘end of the world as we know it’?
- 22/07: COVID-19 could weaken covenants and raise taxes and inflation
- 15/07: COVID expectations set, except for economic recovery
- 08/07: COVID concerns rise as economic outlook improves - why?
- 01/07: Lockdown easing raises COVID concerns
- 24/06: The UK government’s COVID-19 guidance attracts criticism
- 17/06: COVID concerns shift to life after lockdown
- 10/06: Will lockdown easing cause COVID concerns to rise?
- 03/06: COVID concerns at an all-time low – is the worst over?
- 27/05: Personal COVID concern subsides – but this may be a problem
- 20/05: UK pension trustees worry there may be no ‘going back’ after COVID
- 13/05: UK pension schemes don’t trust the lockdown exit strategy
- 06/05: Concerns over duration of COVID lockdown and macro effects intensify
- 29/04: Professional COVID concern spikes by 18% as trustees brace for a longer lockdown
- 22/04: Macro effects of COVID to last until 2022, with personal concerns up by 10%
- 15/04: COVID concerns fluctuate – there is no path to normalisation in sight
- 08/04: The magnitude of COVID’s economic impact remains unclear
- 01/04: Have UK pensions schemes settled into the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19?
- 25/03: Rising levels of concern about COVID and a changing economy
- 23/03: What do pension funds think about the economic impact of COVID-19?
- 19/03: COVID-19: Government response divides pensions community
- 18/03: 96% of pension funds and trustees preparing for a long-term COVID-19 fallout
- 18/03: mallowstreet Flash Insights Report: COVID-19 – what’s on trustees’ minds
About the COVID Concern Index
- 0 = respondents are not worried at all
- 100 = respondents are extremely worried
- Lowest possible value = 1 month
- Highest possible value = 6 months
- Lowest possible value = 3 months
- Highest possible value = 12 months
- Lowest possible value = 3 months
- Highest possible value = 60 months