Attitudes about how people in Hong Kong live with Covid-19 are changing, with 30% of residents planning to travel within the next 12 months and 45% stating that “fear of infection is no longer a reason for me to not meet with friends or relatives, or resume a normal social routine”, according to a recent survey.
The survey, conducted by Manulife Hong Kong in late August before the lifting of compulsory quarantine requirement on arrival at Hong Kong on September 26 2022, shows that quarantine restrictions aside, a total of 49% of respondents are “comfortable to travel to other countries adopting living with Covid strategies”.
As well, a third of the survey’s 1,020 respondents aged 18 or above who contracted Covid-19 have suffered a deterioration in mental or physical health. Even though the pandemic hit Hong Kong in early 2020, the survey indicates that Covid-19 is still impacting people’s mental and physical health.
The research revealed that mental health has worsened for 33% of the population who have contracted Covid-19 and for 36% who have never contracted the virus. The findings also show that the virus is having a damaging effect on younger people, with 48% of people aged 35 or younger who have never had the virus admitting they have experienced a decline in mental health.
Respondents are also struggling with physical wellbeing, more so for those who have had the virus, with 33% admitting a downturn in their physical health versus 26% who have never had the virus.
The survey also showed that most respondents are still worried about Covid-19, with 61% expressing concern about spreading the virus to the elderly and children, and 62% concerned about Covid-19’s long-term health effects.
Around three-quarters (74%) of respondents continue to adhere to strict personal hygiene protocols due to unease about catching the disease. Many have increased the frequency of preventive measures, such as washing or sanitizing hands regularly (59%), disinfecting homes (46%), avoiding people with respiratory symptoms (46%), and taking more rapid antigen and PCR tests (47%). In addition, 38% of the respondents avoid crowded areas or events.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Covid-19 has fuelled demand for insurance as people look to stay in control of their health and wellbeing. As well, the health survey indicates that since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Hong Kong in early 2020 about a third of the respondents have researched or bought insurance coverage for themselves or their families.
“The ongoing virus has affected the daily lives and wellbeing of people of all ages, regardless of whether or not they have contracted the virus,” says Danny Lee, chief product officer for Manulife Hong Kong and Macau. “However, the survey shows a positive attitude shift among Hongkongers.”