Around one in six Australians believe their lives have returned to normal since the start of COVID-19 according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The eighth Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey was conducted earlier this month, at a time when the resurgence of coronavirus cases across parts of Victoria was leading to stronger restrictions in parts of the state.
ABS head of Household Surveys, Michelle Marquardt said the survey also showed that similar numbers of people thought that their lives would return to normal within three months compared to those who thought that it would be more than a year before a return to normal (17 and 18%).
“We also found that men were more than twice as likely as women to think that their lives would return to normal within three months (23 and 10%).” Ms Marquardt said.
“Very few people living in Victoria reported that their lives had not changed or had already returned to normal (2%) compared to people living in the rest of Australia (21%).
“One in six Victorians (16%) were unsure how long it would take for life to return to normal compared to one in thirteen (8%) for the rest of Australia.”
The survey also asked people to assess their general mental health.
Three in five Australians (60%) considered their mental health to be excellent or very good, while around one in seven (14%) reported their mental health as fair or poor.
“When asked about the use of mental health or support services, 14% had used at least one service since March. Use of a mental health and support service was higher for women than men (19% of women compared to 10% of men).”
People were also asked about what aspects of their current lives they would like to continue after COVID-19 restrictions eased, with 29% wanting to maintain spending more time with family and friends while 28% said there was nothing they would like to continue.
Other responses included continuing to have less environmental impact (27%); spending less or saving more (25%); working or studying from home (25%) and slower pace of life (23%).