How coronavirus has taken its toll on the nation’s mood

Matthew SmithLead data journalist
April 04, 2020, 12:51 PM UTC

Happiness plummets while boredom and fear surge

With the UK now in its second week under lockdown, YouGov’s mood tracker has picked up severe changes in the nation’s emotional state.

As recently as early March the nation’s mood was unaffected by the virus. Since that point, however, things have taken a turn for the worse.

For every week since the tracker launched in July last year the most common emotion in Britain has been “happy”, with an average of 50%. As recently as early March 50% of Britons said this had been how they had felt in the last week.

Since then, however, this figure has plummeted to just 26%. In fact, happiness is now only the sixth most commonly cited emotion – behind five negative ones.

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Feelings of contentment are also down, with only 17% of us feeling that all is right with the world, compared to an average figure of 28%.

The new top emotion in Britain is stress. Almost half of Britons (48%) say they have felt stressed in the last week, up from an average of 41% in the months leading up to early March.

Four in ten Britons (41%) report feeling frustrated (up from an average of 35%).

The proportion of people saying they are scared is more than triple the average rate of 11%, with one in three Britons (34%) saying they have felt this way in the past seven days.

Britons are also more likely to be sad than usual, at 33% from the average figure of 26%.

Unsurprisingly boredom is also spiking, with a third of Britons (34%) professing to find themselves at a loss for things to do. Normally this figure is around 19%.

With the exception of boredom, the big changes in these figures mostly took place prior to the onset of the lockdown being announced.

Photo: Getty

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