80% of Filipinos hopeful worst of COVID-19 crisis ‘behind us’ – SWS

Eighty percent of Filipinos were hopeful last December that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic was “behind us,” a survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

In its national survey, the SWS found those hopeful rose from 38% in September 2021 to a record-high 80% in December 2021.

The December figure surpassed the previous record of 69% in November 2020.

Likewise, people fearing that “the worst is yet to come” fell sharply to 19% in December 2021 from 60% in September 2021, the lowest since the 31% in November 2020.

The poll, which included 1,440 adults, was conducted from December 12 to 16, 2021, when the country was still reporting hundreds of cases each day. Since late December, COVID-19 infections have climbed drastically, with a new high of 26,458 cases reported on Saturday.

Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3 until January 15.

The government also placed the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal under Alert Level 3 from January 3 until January 15, while Laguna is under the same alert level starting January 7 until January 15.

Fourteen more cities and provinces were placed under Alert Level 3 starting January 9 to 15 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Under Alert Level 3, several establishments are allowed to operate at 30% indoor venue capacity only for fully vaccinated individuals and 50% outdoor venue capacity, provided that all employees are fully vaccinated.

The December 2021 percentage of individuals hoping that “the worst is behind us” with the COVID-19 crisis had record-highs in all areas of the country: the highest in Mindanao with 83%, followed by Metro Manila at 82%, Balance Luzon at 81%, and the Visayas at 75%.

Compared to September 2021, people saying “the worst is behind us” rose by 47 points from 34% in Balance Luzon, by 45 points from 37% in Metro Manila, by 39 points from 36% in the Visayas, and by 34 points from 49% in Mindanao.

People fearing “the worst is yet to come” are higher in the Visayas (24%) than in Metro Manila (18%), Balance Luzon (17%), and Mindanao (17%).

Compared to September 2021, people saying “the worst is yet to come” fell by 48 points from 65% in Balance Luzon, by 43 points from 61% in Metro Manila, by 38 points from 62% in the Visayas, and by 32 points from 49% in Mindanao.

People saying “the worst is behind us” are highest among elementary graduates (83%), followed by junior high school graduates (81%), college graduates (80%), and non-elementary graduates (72%).

Compared to September 2021, people saying “the worst is behind us” rose by 45 points from 35% among college graduates, by 44 points from 39% among elementary graduates, by 43 points from 38% among junior high school graduates, and by 30 points from 42% among non-elementary graduates.

On the other hand, individuals fearing “the worst is yet to come” are higher among non-elementary graduates (26%) than among elementary graduates (16%), junior high school graduates (18%), and college graduates (19%).

Compared to September 2021, people believing “the worst is yet to come” fell by 44 points from 60% among elementary graduates, by 43 points from 61% among junior high school graduates, by 43 points from 62% among college graduates, and by 30 points from 56% among non-elementary graduates.

Worry about catching COVID-19 down to 88%

The SWS survey also found that 88% of Filipinos were a great deal or somewhat worried (72% a great deal worried, 16% somewhat worried) and 12% a little worried or not worried (5% a little worried, 7% not worried) that anyone in their immediate family might catch COVID-19.

The latest percentage was three points below the 91% (76% a great deal worried, 15% somewhat worried) recorded in September 2021.

The SWS said that compared to its past surveys, worry about catching COVID-19 is much greater than worries about catching previous viruses such as Ebola, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The percentage of people with a great deal or somewhat worried about catching COVID-19 is highest in the Visayas (94%), followed by Mindanao (91%), Metro Manila (87%), and Balance Luzon (84%).

The figures were slightly lower from 95% in the Visayas, 94% in Mindanao, 91% in Metro Manila, and 88% in Balance Luzon.

Those worried about catching COVID-19 are highest among elementary graduates (91%), followed by junior high school graduates (90%), college graduates (83%), and non-elementary graduates (82%).

Compared to September 2021, the figures decreased slightly from 87% among non-elementary graduates and 95% among college graduates.

It did not change among elementary graduates and junior high school graduates, the SWS said.

According to the SWS, the poll’s sampling error margins are ?2.6% for national percentages, and ?5.2% for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Citing the Gallup survey, the SWS said Filipinos have always been more worried than Americans about catching COVID-19.

The Gallup survey conducted from November 29 to December 5, 2021 found that 37% of adult Americans worry (5% very worried, 32% somewhat worried) they will get the coronavirus.

The figure is similar to the 36% in October 2021 but lower than the 50% in September 2021.

“Nevertheless, when it comes to catching COVID-19, the proportion of worried Americans was always lower than worried Filipinos,” the SWS said. — VBL, GMA News

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