More Australians than ever think they will be infected with Covid-19, according to a study that showed some other interesting findings.
Two out of five Australians think they are likely to get Covid, according to a new survey, as the number of people reporting “severe” psychological stress has jumped dramatically.
Researchers at the Australian National University surveyed nearly 3,500 adults and found that 40 per cent believe they are likely or very likely to contract Covid in the next six months.
Those who were vaccinated were more likely to think they would be infected than those who were not infected, meaning they expected vaccination could reduce hospitalization and death, while still leaving people exposed to mild cases.
Fears of infection were four times higher than they were in April, said study lead author Nicholas Biddle.
“In April 2021, about one in 10 Australians, 10.7 per cent, were worried that they would become infected with Covid-19,” said Professor Biddle.
“Now, 40 percent of us think the same.
“This is a huge leap and shows that although the vast majority of adult Australians are vaccinated against Covid-19, many of us think it is inevitable that we will get the disease someday, especially as the country opens up more and more. “
Those aged 35 to 44 were the group who most thought they would be infected.
More than half – 53.8 percent – said they were likely or very likely to hire Covid.
This was followed by those aged 45 to 54, with 43.1 per cent saying they were likely or very likely to contract the disease.
Meanwhile, the study showed a critical trend, with a jump in the number of people saying they are experiencing “severe” psychological stress, despite life satisfaction increasing.
In October, 12.5 per cent of Australians said they were suffering from severe mental stress, compared with a previous high of 10.6 per cent in April 2020.
“We have been tracking the impact of Covid-19 across Australian society for almost two years now,” said Professor Biddle.
“This is the highest level of severe psychological distress we have yet to see.”
However, fewer Australians reported feeling significant financial stress and the study also found that household incomes continue to rise.
“It seems that how many Australians earn each week is less pressure than it was in the midst of the pandemic and confinement,” said study co-author Professor Matthew Gray.
As for the recovery from the pandemic, 54.6 percent thought the worst was behind us while the remaining 45.4 percent thought it was yet to come.
Australians were more optimistic than Americans, with 45 per cent of Americans saying the worst of the pandemic was behind them and 54 per cent saying the worst was yet to come.
Most Australians also thought the federal government, prime minister and opposition leader were doing “fair” or “poor” work, but the public service, state / territorial governments and hospitals / the healthcare system were doing “good” or “excellent” work.
The analysis is part of Australia’s largest and longest-running study of the impact of the pandemic across the country, led by the ANU Center for Social Research and Methods.
Originally published as the fear of Australians getting Covid increases, according to a study on tracking well-being during the pandemic.