COVID A Year On - How have residents fared during the pandemic?

The majority of COVID-19 infections in Hertfordshire were contracted in schools and shops, the latest data shows.

Comet readers from Stevenage and North Herts responded to our survey on how they have fared during COVID-19 - Credit: PA

Last week we asked people across Stevenage and North Herts how they have found the past year of social distancing and lockdown restrictions.

Nearly 200 people responded to the survey, with results showing the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on people's lives.

In Stevenage, 36 per cent of respondents said their priorities had changed a great deal since the pandemic began, with only 11 per cent saying their priorities had not changed at all. Meanwhile in North Herts 23 per cent said their priorities had substantially changed.

Sixty-six per cent of those who responded from Stevenage said their mental health has been worse than usual over the last 12 months, with 63 per cent saying their physical activity has decreased.

In North Herts, 72 per cent have experienced worsening mental health, and 56 per cent have seen a decline in their physical activity.

When it comes to employment, 22 per cent of Stevenage respondents and 17 per cent of North Herts respondents have suffered a job loss as a result of COVID-19.

Among those currently employed, in Stevenage 61 per cent are worried about losing their job in the next 12 months, while in North Herts the figure stands at 54 per cent.

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Thirty per cent of Stevenage respondents and 24 per cent of North Herts respondents, many of whom have been working from home or furloughed, said they are looking forward to returning to their place of work once restrictions are lifted.

In Stevenage, 52 per cent of those who responded said they had been obeying all lockdown restrictions, compared to 47 per cent in North Herts.

However there is hope for the future, with 42 per cent of Stevenage respondents and 39 per cent of North Herts respondents saying they are very likely to visit high street shops once they reopen. 

Thirty-four per cent of respondents from Stevenage and 47 per cent from North Herts said they will visit pubs once they reopen about as much as they did pre-COVID, while 39 per cent in Stevenage and 46 per cent in North Herts feel they will not change the amount they eat out compared to before the pandemic.

Only three per cent of Stevenage respondents plan to book a long-haul holiday this year, while the figure stands at four per cent in North Herts.