New national research from Mainstreet Insights of 1,002 Australians shows that COVID-19 is having a substantial impact on the Aussie spirit, our relationships and spirituality.

Aussie spirit takes a hit

An increase in COVID-19 cases has seen a decrease in Aussie spirit. Waking up to vast increases of new COVID-19 cases, it is no wonder that three in five Aussies are feeling drained by ongoing restrictions (61%) and are questioning how government and authorities are handling the unfolding pandemic (66%).

There seems to be no end in sight with a further four in five (80%) agreeing they have a growing sense we are going to be stuck in this COVID-19 challenge for at least two years.

Aussies are feeling drained by ongoing restrictions

Breaking the myth of ‘the lucky country’

Being the lucky country takes hard work – despite growing concern around government and authorities, Aussies are putting their best foot forward. Nine in ten Aussies (93%) agree (strongly/somewhat/slightly) they are still actively listening and following messages of health experts and government officials with a further 89% still willing to reduce their personal freedoms for the sake of community health. People living in states that are most affected by COVID-19, while faced with difficulty, are still choosing to place the health of the community above their own with nine in ten willing to reduce their personal freedoms for the sake of the community (91% VIC, 90% NSW, 89% QLD).

Relationships are being strengthened in COVID-19

Despite the strain that many Aussies are feeling are feeling during this time, four in five agree that COVID-19 is positively strengthening their family/household relationships (79%), alongside clarifying the relationships in which Aussies want to invest their time (79%).

COVID-19 strengthening household relationships

Victoria, the not so lucky state

Australia may be considered the lucky country, but Victoria is the not so lucky state – Victorians bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Victorians are the most likely to feel personally drained by the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions (76% cf. 60% NSW, 51% QLD), have experienced a feeling of loneliness more (67% cf. 59% NSW, 50% QLD) and have experienced tension in their most significant relationships (48% cf. 39% NSW, 33% QLD) more than Aussies living in other states.

With Victorians experiencing the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it comes as no surprise they are the most likely to agree they have growing questions around how government and authorities are handling the situation (81% VIC cf. 65% NSW, 59% QLD).

4 in 5 have growing sense we are going to be stuck in COVID-19 for next two years

Aussie workers experiencing a positive shift in their relationships during the pandemic

The outside world may be descending into chaos, but the Aussie spirit of mateship lives on in the workplace. Not only do 69% of Aussie workers agree that COVID-19 has improved their relationships with team and work colleagues, more than four in five (89%) workers are still willing to reduce their personal freedoms for the sake of community health.

COVID-19 opening the door to spirituality in Australia

Aussies are facing off their mortality by exploring the spiritual world. Almost one in two Aussies (47%) have thought about their mortality more (much/somewhat/slightly), with a similar proportion (47%) thinking about the meaning of life more and three in ten (33%) have thought about God more during the experience of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is opening the door to spirituality in Australia with one in four Aussie’s engaging in more (much/somewhat/slightly) spiritual conversations (26%) and praying more (28%).

Young people are disproportionately affected by COVID-19

There may be some weight behind the ‘Ok Boomer’ tag line with younger generations experiencing more relational and emotional hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to older generations. Gen Z (63%) and Gen Y (56%) are the most likely to have experienced tension in their most significant relationships compared to Gen X (42%) Baby Boomers (22%) and Builders (19%) and are more likely to have experienced and increase in a feeling of loneliness (78% Gen Z, 68% Gen Y cf. 55% Gen X, 44% Baby Boomers, 42% Builders). A further seven in ten Gen Zs (77%) and Gen Ys (72%) agree (strongly/somewhat/slightly) they are feeling personally drained due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions (cf. 59% Gen X, 49% Baby Boomers, 38% Builders).

With young people bearing the psychological weight of the pandemic, it comes as no surprise they are the most likely to agree (strongly/somewhat/slightly) they have growing questions around how government and authorities are handling the situation (76% Gen Z, 79% Gen Y, 64% Gen X, 52% Baby Boomers, 55% Builders).

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