Infected with COVID-19 changes outlook on life for Singaporeans, says new report

Contracting COVID-19 not only left after-effects for some in terms of post-COVID-19 symptoms, but also changed the outlook of many who tested positive for the virus, according to the Singapore findings of the latest Ipsos survey on attitudes towards the current state of life.

The Ipsos SEA Ahead study conducted between May 12 and June 3 found that 34% of respondents in Singapore say they had contracted COVID-19. Of these, 52% said that being positive with COVID-19 changed their outlook on life.

Greater emphasis on safety and personal responsibility

Post-infection, many are paying greater attention to keeping themselves safe. 55% say that they are now more concerned about health and safety factors when buying new products.

Additional analysis on online comments by Ipsos Social Intelligence Analysis finds that they have also become stronger advocates of personal responsibility, stating that everyone is responsible for protecting themselves from COVID-19 and advising people to take steps to safeguard themselves and their loved ones from the virus.

Netizens are advising people not to let their guard down regardless of their vaccination status, and emphasized the importance of wearing masks and regularly sanitizing the hands, especially before eating or drinking. There are also calls for parents to ensure that young children are masked, especially in crowded areas.

The change in outlook after being COVID-positive has also led to changes in lifestyle choices. According to the study, 55% say they are spending more time by themselves rather than socializing. As part of the safety measures they have adopted, many avoid crowded places and stay at home.

Concerns over post-COVID symptoms

For many of the survey respondents, the after-effects of COVID-19 infection is a major area of concern. Of those who have tested positive, 61% are worried about post-COVID symptoms that they might have.

Ipsos Social Intelligence Analysis found that coughing was the most prevalent post-COVID symptom, with some individuals coughing for up to two months after contracting the virus. Other symptoms included hives, brain fog, voice loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, and insomnia.

Some netizens reported using traditional treatments such as traditional Chinese medicine to alleviate their post-COVID symptoms.

On the other hand, some are taking post-COVID symptoms in their stride. They say that it is normal to experience symptoms for up to two weeks following a negative test result, and that these symptoms will eventually subside.

Katharine Zhou, Singapore Country Manager, Ipsos, said: “For Singaporeans, the pandemic had heightened the awareness of various aspects of life including health and safety, mental wellness, financial health, and job security. 

“Their change in outlook on life has brought about new behaviors and habits, some of which are sustained even as the pandemic seems to be subsiding. While the worst seems to be over for COVID-19, about half of Singaporeans say they are remaining cautious about health and safety. 

“They express the need for Singaporeans to take in what we have learnt from the pandemic – lessons in safety, personal hygiene and personal responsibility – and find the right balance between exercising safety measures and normalizing our daily activities.”

Photo credit: iStock/ MaxOzerov

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