Survey: 57% think Japanese Society Is Handling COVID-19 Well

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Most people are masked at JR Tokyo Station on March 13, despite the fact that the government stopped recommending the wearing of masks, in principle, from that day.

According to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey, 57% of respondents believe that Japanese society is handling the novel coronavirus well, surpassing the number who disagreed for the first time since the pandemic began.

The nationwide mail-in survey, conducted three years after the pandemic’s expansion, also showed that the pandemic had contributed to higher spending and stress among individuals.

Those who approved of the government’s response to the pandemic reached 60% for the first time in a mail survey.

Regarding the government’s decision to downgrade from May 8 the classification of COVID-19 under the Infectious Diseases Law to Category V, the same level as seasonal influenza, 54% of respondents said they welcomed the development.

Asked about 10 things that have increased or decreased in their lives during the pandemic, the most common reported increase was “spending” at 49%, followed by “stress from work” at 42%, “time spent with family” at 33% and “stress at home” at 32%.

The most common decrease was “income” at 27%.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

These figures indicate that while society as a whole was able to cope with the pandemic, there was a significant burden on individual lives.

To a question about what practices should be established in society after the pandemic ends, “thorough hand washing” was the most popular answer at 77%, followed by “ventilation and disinfection in public spaces” at 63%, and “working from home and other forms of telecommuting” at 45%. Multiple answers were allowed.

The survey was conducted through the postal system and targeted 3,000 randomly selected eligible voters in 250 locations across the country. The questionnaires were mailed on Jan. 24, and 2,090 valid responses, or 70% of the total, were received by the deadline of Feb. 28.