COVID-19 Social Monitor: selected results

Bern, 2.12.2021 – The COVID-19 Social Monitor tracks the social and public health changes in the population during the pandemic. The interim report with results up to summer 2021, is now available.

Since its outbreak in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented major social challenges for the Swiss population. The COVID-19 Social Monitor project, which was launched in late March 2020, therefore studies the social and public health impacts on the population on an ongoing basis. It focuses on

  • general well-being,
  • mental health,
  • feelings of loneliness.

The project also monitors how well the public adheres to the mitigation measures in place to contain the pandemic.

Changes over the course of the pandemic

The dynamic of the pandemic is reflected to some extent in the population’s state of health. General well-being slightly deteriorated during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020, and during the second lockdown in the winter of 2021. Conversely, the figures recovered during the easing of measures in the summer of 2020. Mental health deteriorated in the autumn of 2020 and then remained steady at a level that was slightly below that of spring/summer 2020. Feelings of loneliness were also more frequent during phases with stricter measures.

Changes in the population

The results vary widely by population group. It is noticeable that young adults generally have high levels of psychological distress and loneliness. There are also clear differences in terms of the common factors of inequality: education and income. During the pandemic –as is the case the rest of the time – people with a low level of education have a lower quality of life and a higher level of psychological distress. In people on low incomes, the values for all three factors studied were worse than in the other income groups.

Implementation of measures

It is clear that for the most part, the population systematically complied with the recommended and/or prescribed mitigation measures and rules on hygiene and physical distancing throughout the pandemic. Most of the measures were implemented more systematically in the spring of 2020 than in the winter of 2021. From the spring of 2021, we see an increasing ‘normalisation’ of mobility and social activities. Younger people were less meticulous about physical distancing, and were also more mobile and more socially active than older people.  

Last modification 02.12.2021

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