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What will the future look like after the COVID-19 emergency has passed? Compared to the beginning of May, the future prospects are less extreme in June and Italians are starting to reflect on how much can and should remain of the experience lived during the health emergency and its consequences.
This is what emerges from the second wave of an in-depth section of the BVA Doxa tracking study on the opinions and forecasts of the Italians in times of Coronavirus, created thanks to the use of the exclusive qualitative-quantitative tool T@lk.
Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and discovering that in the face of new data on the current emergency, it was decided to start a new phase, with further changes and with the introduction of new rules. Try to describe what will happen during this new phase, and explain in detail how our everyday life will change and what will happen compared to the current phase.
This is the question asked by BVA Doxa research on the opinions and predictions of Italians in Coronavirus times, which is part of a weekly observatory started on March, the 20th. The answers to this specific question – asked in the period of May 8-11 – were analyzed with T@lk. T@lk is an exclusive tool by BVA Doxa that combines mixed research techniques, in order to obtain the richness and depth typical of qualitative research, while using numbers of quantitative research.
The scenario that emerges from the T@lk analysis has changed from the previous survey. The future prospects are becoming less extreme and Italians are starting to reflect on how much should remain of the experience lived during the COVID-19 emergency and its consequences.
The survey finds that two macro trends are emerging among Italians when thinking about the near future: on one hand, 65% of respondents focus on the evolution of the emergency, prefiguring either the return to lockdown or the improvement of the general situation. On the other hand, 35% of the interviewees pay mostly attention to what will remain in the future of what has been experienced in these unusual months.
SHOULD WE FEAR A NEW LOCKDOWN OR SHOULD WE PUT FACE MASKS AWAY? – According to the study’s results, 65% of Italians who wonder about the next evolution of the emergency can be further divided into two clusters.
The first cluster, corresponding to 33% of the interviewees and called “Back to lockdown“, brings together all those who believe that the virus could return, and that it would force a new lockdown: the possible new lockdown may be total as in phase 1 for some, while for others it will be limited to the areas where new outbreaks will arise. In any case, compared to the previous survey, even the perspectives on the negative evolution of the emergency are less extreme. In May, in fact, the idea that prevailed was that, if the situation worsened, even stricter restrictive measures would be necessary than those implemented during phase 1.
In the second “Mask off, life on” cluster, made up of 32% of Italians, we focus on a positive resolution of the emergency: people in this cluster believe we will abandon some obligations to which we had to adapt for the containment of the contagion. However, unlike what was observed in the previous wave, these positive theories do not come to describe a definitive solution in which life will return totally like the pre-Covid one. The opinions on the matter, in fact, are more moderate: masks will be removed, but we will continue to keep our distance from each other.
OUR FUTURE: SMART WORKING AND BEING READY TO FACE NEW CHALLENGES – The remaining 35% of respondents are also divided into two clusters, who look at the future while collecting the legacy of these past months of emergency.
The first group, 20% of the sample gathered in the cluster “Digitalizing Life“, describes the future post Covid-19 by imagining what will remain of the new work practices to which many have had to get used to in this period. The hypothesis is that smart working will be the first step towards a new normal, with the hope that it will lead to a better balance between working life and personal life.
The remaining 15% that make up the “No surrender” cluster believe that COVID19’s legacy must be traced mainly in the feelings and attitudes of people. The idea is that, regardless of the most concrete things that can happen, there will still be the desire not to be found unprepared and to have become able to face the change without being knocked down.
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