A year of lockdowns: How have Suffolk lives changed during the pandemic?

Stock image of a patient with a mental health worker Picture: SHIRONOSOV/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Six in 10 people in Suffolk have seen their mental health worsen as a result of coronavirus lockdown - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Six in 10 people in Suffolk have seen their mental health worsen in lockdown – while a further 50% have no plans for a holiday this year.

The findings come following a survey of readers by this newspaper, with more than 760 people responding on how lockdown has influenced their lives on year on.

The survey focused on areas such as work and mental health, while also looking into how our habits may change once restrictions are lifted again.

Alarmingly, 60% of those surveyed said their mental health has been "worse than before" in the last 12 months, with a further 35% seeing no change and just under 5% reporting an improvement.

More than 760 people responded to the East Anglian Daily Times/Ipswich Star survey

More than 760 people responded to the East Anglian Daily Times/Ipswich Star survey - Credit: Archant

The results come as no surprise after earlier research from Suffolk Mind found half of the county's population are suffering from poor mental wellbeing, with a year of lockdowns seeing the number double.


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The findings tie in with the 55% of people who reported seeing their physical activity reduce during the last year, while 11% of those surveyed reported having lost their job as a result of the pandemic.

More than 13% of those surveyed also said they fear losing their job in the next 12 months.

Respondents say they will not be returning to pubs too often following lockdown

Respondents say they will not be returning to pubs too often following lockdown - Credit: Archant

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In other areas, Suffolk seems divided on how people will return to their normal lives following the third lockdown, with responses varying on the return to pubs and restaurants.

Scoring from one to five, around 20% said they are likely to return to pubs often or very often, with 38% answering in the middle. It was a similar situation for restaurants, where a score of three remained the highest.

Those surveyed seem keen to make a return to the high street after lockdown

Those surveyed seem keen to make a return to the high street after lockdown - Credit: Archant

Respondents seem keen to return to the high street however, with 31% saying they are very likely to visit once non-essential stores reopen. Just over 26% said they are unlikely to return often.

In terms of holidays, 50% said they would not be booking a holiday – while 32% said they would book a UK vacation. Just over 12% said they would like a European holiday, while 4% planned to book long haul.

The majority of people in Suffolk adhered to lockdown rules, the survey found

The majority of people in Suffolk adhered to lockdown rules, the survey found - Credit: Archant

Overall, 52% of respondents said they abided by all restrictions, with a further 44% saying they followed with a few minor indiscretions. Just 25 people (3%) said they did not.

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