Measures to combat the novel coronavirus might appear similar worldwide, but a new survey highlights how many experiences of lockdown have not been equal. While some people report thriving in lockdown and reconnecting with loved ones, others have experienced isolation and loneliness. PagoFX, an international money transfer service backed by Santander, has looked at how our sense of community spirit has fared and charted some of its highs and lows throughout 2020.
Asking adults from the UK, USA, Spain, Poland and Germany about interaction with loved ones and wider communities, along with charitable acts and permanent lifestyle changes, PagoFX have created an international Communities in Lockdown report.
Drawing on individual results from each participating country, and ordering them from the location which has the greatest community spirit, to the one most pulled apart by the year so far. Key findings for the UK include:
39% of UK adults said that they now speak to friends and family much more than they did before the pandemic began.
32% said that they also speak to people in the wider community more often, and 29% feel closer to their communities now than they did previously.
Though European countries report largely positive experiences, the USA sits at the bottom of the community spirit ranking. Almost 30% of American adults said that they don’t feel a part of any community at all, compared to a European average of just 7% of respondents feeling that way.
Community spirit rankings
Responses were scored out of a possible total of 185 points, and countries with respondents reporting more positive experiences and feelings received higher scores. The results place Spain and Poland in the lead, while the USA sits firmly at the bottom of the ranking:
Polish adults have the strongest sense of connection with a worldwide ‘global community’, with nearly 30% feeling part of this big picture compared to only 11% in the UK. Meanwhile, in addition to being more than four times as likely to feel part of no community at all compared to European respondents, US adults were around twice as likely to say that they’ve lost touch with loved ones completely since the pandemic began.
In European countries, almost 70% of respondents have given or received support of some kind. In the USA, almost 60% have not.
“The Communities in Lockdown report will be relatable reading for many people” says Victoria Yasinetskaya, CMO at PagoFX. “On the one hand, we know that people have been motivated to support each other in all sorts of ways, from family video calls to sending money to loved ones abroad, and helping neighbours with deliveries.
“But among all the stories of people coming together, we mustn’t overlook the feedback from people who are feeling disconnected. Now more than ever, it’s important for people to look after each other however they can, whether that’s being a listening ear on a difficult day, or sending financial support to those in need.”