Covid Conversations week 2

1 April 2020


A look at what NZers think and feel after week 2 of lockdown

Throughout the COVID crisis, One Picture has spoken to thousands of New Zealanders from across the country to monitor changing consumer behaviours and attitudes. This week, we remain in level 4 lockdown, but consumer sentiment continues to evolve.

Last week,

we wanted to check in with our neighbourhood as to how they were feeling with COVID-19 escalating in NZ and potential changes to their lives on the horizon. 

Our three key findings were:

1. We were concerned about COVID-19, but felt we were unlikely to contract it. Our concern sat mostly with the impact of COVID-19 on our families, but also with the impact this would have on our country and the world –a growing concern over what we cannot control now our locus of control has been turned on its head.

2. We are informing ourselves about COVID-19, relying most on government information releases; trusting our leadership – who is in control –in a situation where we feel so out of control, and at a time where we worry about what the implications are for our families and our livelihoods.

3. Although the majority of us would self isolate if we needed to, we didn’t trust that other NZers would do the same. Because we don’t trust others as much as we trust ourselves to isolate when needed, our world and our safety is the growing concern. 

This week,

This week, we aimed to delve further into how people were feeling, in particular around feeling uncertain and lacking control, as well as look into what people are missing in their lives now they are starting to settle into a new routine

Our three key findings were:

1. Our concern is growing –especially for things out of our control now our families are home safe. But we are starting to gain a sense of what brands are supporting us through this difficult time.

2. We are uncertain and worried about our futures but are trying to look on the bright side, such as appreciating the small things more –think time with family and time to do the things that often go to the bottom of the list.

3. We miss human connection - hugs and handshakes, freedom and spontaneity to go out and do something, personal space. We are now focusing on our most basic human needs and are missing what makes us human: freedom and connection.

Learn more from week 1 here

What did our fellow Kiwis tell us this week?

Over the past week, extreme concern over the impact of COVID-19 has grown and we’re worried most about the impact on ‘others’…

…that’s because we still don’t think we’re likely to contract COVID-19


Think they are unlikely to contact COVID-19


Are still unsure whether they will self isolate

The gravity of the situation has landed for most, with a spike in those of us who are extremely concerned about COVID-19. As we fall into a routine and feel our bubbles are protected at home, the focus of our anxieties further shifts to impacts on New Zealand and the world – things we cannot control. However, we still feel we are unlikely to contract COVID-19, strengthening the (wrongful) perception that we are immune to it.

Even with uncertainty and anxiety becoming more apparent, we are looking for the positives in our situation

As concern about the impact of COVID-19 on the world, the country and our community grows, and concern for those closest to us decreases (as per graph top of page), we see an increase in uncertainty about the future. Life has been stripped back to subsistence; we’re just getting by, and while we adjust to our new routines we realise that it's the little things we might have taken for granted that really count – the simple things, making the most of each day. This results in a belief that the situation we find ourselves in now will make us want to see and live in the world differently – despite our worry over what is to come. The key question is, what could living in the world differently look like in the weeks and months to come? And will our concern for our families rise again as COVID cases begin to hit our hospitals in greater numbers in the weeks ahead? 

Our trust that others will do the right thing has shifted slightly

More of us are self-isolating and we have a slight increase in trust that others will also. We are feeling more prepared for an extended isolation than we were last week, and we have a growing belief that the government is doing a good job at handling the COVID-19 crisis. However, we are less trusting than last week that retailers will do the right thing by customers. We are gaining back a slither of control over our lives in being more prepared for self-isolation – giving us time to look outside our bubble at retailers to assess whether they are doing the right thing by their customers. A key watch out: our anxieties may encourage us to seek someone to blame, be that other NZers or businesses.

What we're missing the most, and what we want to see more of in the world, is humanity

We have been asked to regress to the basics, the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy, focusing on our most basic needs for survival, so we miss what makes us human: freedom & connection. We are already missing all of the little parts of everyday life we might have taken for granted: hugs with friends and family, freedom to pop out, touching the outdoors – the sea, lakes, sunshine, animals, our daily work routine – even our colleagues and clients and the everyday frills of modern society – malls, coffee, the gym and takeaways, and time to ourselves - for those in bigger bubbles. When asked what the world needs more of right now, rational needs – vaccines, healthcare, money  – were less prevalent than the things we crave; kindness, love, touch, autonomy and care for others. A new sense of civic responsibility is emerging – we all have a common enemy to unite us. And this common goal is where we can connect with consumers…these are critical themes that will shape how we behave and what we seek in the coming months.

We're starting to form a view of the companies that are supporting us

We seem to be focused on companies that are highly salient and topical  and for now are prioritising key lock down needs – food, shelter,  entertainment and those providing the technology that keeps us informed, in touch and working where we can. Key question: how can companies be helpful, add value and be truly relevant moving forward?

Questions going forward:

  • What does a ‘helpful’ business look like now (and over the coming weeks) to a consumer?
  • What positive aspects are there to the changes to our lives COVID-19 has made? 
  • How can we as a country overcome the effects of COVID-19? 
  • What organisations/brands/government initiatives can help us fill the human/emotional/nature/freedom holes created by self-isolation?

We’d love to hear your questions. Be part of the One Picture COVID Conversation.
Please email them to Questions are posted every Friday, with findings available EOB Wednesday. We look forward to you being part of it.

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Tags: Travel & tourism, Remote working, Wellbeing, COVID19, Lockdown