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YKA, Trends

COVID-19: What Have We Learned During the Circuit Breaker Period

Here at Blackbox, we are dedicated to observing and measuring every aspect of current Singaporean perspectives whether it is a shift in attitudes or a change behaviour. With the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we doubled down on our research efforts and since early April, we have been taking the pulse of the Singaporean community on a weekly basis. We are looking into every angle of Singaporeans’ COVID-19 experience – from people’s mood to public sentiments on governmental response to the crisis, as well as how individual Singaporeans are coping with the various restrictions imposed on them. 

Here are three key things we have learned during this unprecedented period:

Negative emotions dominated as we tried to manage our lives through CB restrictions

Uncertainty, frustration, anger, anxiety, fear, and sadness dominated the emotions of Singaporeans for the last two months. Younger Singaporeans, 15-24 year-olds, felt more anxious (45%) while middle-high income households say felt feel higher levels of frustration and anger (53%). 

Singapore still on track but economic sentiment is very low 

Despite the impacts of COVID-19 on Singapore, we have seen little variation in the right track/wrong track sentiment among Singaporeans all year. This is a signal that Singaporeans continue to trust that the Government still has a firm grip on keeping the nation afloat and creating success for the nation in the future. However, while less than half of all Singaporeans felt 2020 was going to be worse economically for them than 2019 in the first part of the year, the numbers have risen and remain consistently above 50% since the beginning of the CB, even tipping over 60% at certain points in May.

The Government’s Handling of the COVID19 Crisis Has Held Up  

Despite widespread criticism over the escalation of COVID-19 cases among foreign workers and the various mixed signals to the public on what people should do and not do, Singaporeans largely think that the Government has handled the crisis pretty well up until the end of May. Having said that, Government Performance metrics have ended up where it started in terms of public perceptions which suggests that while its hand was not weakened through the crisis, it was not strengthened either.