Australian Normality Index – October – Normality Continues to Rise, Nearing the Peak of June
Forethought launched the Normality Index (NI) immediately as we went into lockdown in March 2020. We now have 16 waves of data (weekly for the first 12 weeks and now monthly since July). Here are the key findings from our October pulse.
KEY OBSERVATIONS: OCTOBER 2020
- LIVES > LIVELIHOODS > LIFE: When Australia was forced to respond to Covid19 in March this year the national sentiment was focused on protecting the health and safety of the community. The most important driver of our sense of Normality was at that point “Feeling comfortable to be out in public” (25%). As we saw the infection rate constrained by government actions and began to believe that we as a country could manage the virus the focus shifted to the economy. The key driver of normality had moved to “Feeling confident in the economy” (30%) indicating a new concern around livelihoods. October sees the key driver of normality for Australians moving to “Ability to attend work/university/school as usual” (23%). Now singling out our desire and need to recommence living. We just want to get back to living our lives.
So over the last 7 months we have seen the focus move from Lives to Livelihoods to Life.
- VICTORIANS STILL “NOT HAPPY, DAN!” In August and September, as the second wave of infection took hold in Victoria, we saw Australian’s sense of Normality split into three cohorts. Western Australian’s isolated and “safe” were feeling the most normal. NSW, QLD and SA were looking at Victoria and had their improving sense of normality take a blow. And of course, Victorians had a significant fall away in their sense of normality. October’s data tells a story of the returning positivity of NSW, QLD and SA who are now on par with WA in their sense of Normality while Victorians continued to be weighed down by their continuing Iso#2 restrictions.
And, apart from Victoria, the Normality Index has now returned to be almost on par with highest point that was registered before the Victorian second wave. This levelling of normality at around 70% highlights a possible maximum until life beyond borders can recommence.
- FEELING OKAY: The emotional profile of all Australians (measured implicitly) has returned to a very similar profile to pre-COVID-19. And this is consistent across all states, even Victoria. This correcting in our emotional profile, particularly decreased anxiety, highlights a positive outcome for business as Australians become better able to process communications and make purchase decisions.
- WILL YOU BE VACCINATED? Two thirds of us don’t believe that a vaccine will be available for more than a year. And close to a third of us report that we will not be vaccinated even when there is one available. Attitudes and intentions vary by state, age and gender as you will see in the report. But this shows quite clearly the very important job that our government will need to do in terms of education and information to make effective use of a vaccine once it is available.