UK in Lockdown: How are people feeling?
Have you wondered how everyone else has really been feeling during the lockdown? Well, we asked our community in the UK and they've shared their opinion. Since the start of the Global lockdown in March, the news bulletins have become repetitively miserable and even our TV adverts have merged into a single "uncertain times" but "we'll get through this together" cliche. Understandably, there's a popular perception that the lockdown has had a hugely negative impact on all our moods, but what's the reality?
Well, since March we've been regularly asking Citizens to share how they're feeling, completely anonymously and in their own words. Some of the responses are funny, some are insightful, some are sad and touching, quite a few are "wow!". We run all of these responses through our clever sentiment analysis AI and it provides a real-time visual of how the nation is feeling, and why. We've picked out some significant events in the UK over the past few months and mapped at the effect on sentiment in this stream-graph. Overall mood is classified as positive, negative and neutral:
It's creates a fascinating record of the past five months in the UK. Right now, 62% of the UK describe their mood as negative, compared to 54% when the lockdown began. Positive sentiment has also improved a little, meaning that there's been a decrease in neutral feeling - essentially we're feeling more positively positive or negatively negative. Of course, in the interim there have been a number of swings in sentiment - from hope, happiness, joy and optimism - to sorrow, anxiety and despair.
We've selected a number of key events:
1. 24th March - Lockdown begins!
"The lockdown makes me worry for my mental health and the lack of communication with my psychiatrist." - Anonymous, negative
"I am happy with the lockdown and I will follow it to save lives!" - Anonymous, positive
2. 24th May - fast forward to Dominic Cummings controversy 😱
"The world had stopped spinning for a few weeks it's slowly beginning to turn but what disappoints me is the cover up by the PM and Dominic Cummings." - Anonymous, negative
"My feelings about the world are hopeful - hoping people realise that we live in a really delicate planet and that it's in our hands to make it a good place." - Anonymous, positive
3. 26th May - new easing of lockdown measures was confirmed
"I feel like we need to hit 'restart'." - Anonymous, negative
"It's a beautiful world we live in." - Anonymous, positive
4. 5th June - Black Lives Matter protests 📣
"The situation in the US worries me. What on Earth just happened?!" - Anonymous, negative
"I feel safe outside my house for the first time in ages!" - Anonymous, positive
5. 22nd June - to shop, or to not shop?!
" I worry about the future." - Anonymous, negative
"What a beautiful summer we have!" - Anonymous, positive
6. 2nd July - it's beer o'clock 🍻
" Totally fed up with hearing news about the virus, it's the new 'hello' around the world." - Anonymous, negative
"Looking forward to the weekend!" - Anonymous, positive
7. 13th July - Face masks now mandatory in shops and supermarkets
"It's getting there... we are surviving this vicious disease, however all the ministers are very much indecisive and this has shown them for the waste they are." - Anonymous, negative
"I am hoping for a normal Monday." - Anonymous, positive
8. 5th August - Parts of England are now subject to "local lockdowns"
"Very worrying times and the shocking explosions in Beirut, I am leaving the country for good." - Anonymous, negative
"I'm feeling motivated and ready to get back to the office." - Anonymous, positive
More detail, and more data that follows the lockdown when you get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The question is part of our COVID-19 tracker - revealing real-time insights, reflections and observations during lockdown, designed by - and for - the people, to help us all share information, and to tackle the pandemic, together.