Covid-19 & Community Life: The People’s Strategy

As part of our Covid-19 and Community Life study, generously supported by the Wellcome Trust, we are excited to be sharing the third snapshot of our insights in a new report: The People’s Strategy.

As new restrictions are implemented across the UK, over two-thirds of participants reported feeling as though the government have been handling the coronavirus pandemic badly. But what would they do differently? We asked 125 people across the country to imagine that they were in charge of the UK’s Covid-19 response for the coming weeks, and this report is what they told us.

The People’s Strategy presents three key principles to show how people across the country believe the crisis should be managed:

  1. Be Decisive – People are fed up with delayed, incoherent and sometimes contradictory messaging from the government. They want proactive decisions, clear rules and a testing system that works.
  2. Work Together – Rather than a strategy of ‘command and control’, people are calling for the government to use international evidence and coordinate local responses, to support more effective decisions and systems in a collaborative effort to tackle the global issue.
  3. Protect Our Wellbeing – As well as saving lives and protecting the NHS, people want restrictions that are liveable – with enhanced economic support and adapted guidelines that consider the struggles people are experiencing in communities across the country.

These recommendations reflect the viewpoints of the majority, though, of course, there are others who are keen proponents of some more radical suggestions. Spanning the political spectrum from authoritarian to libertarian, individualist to collectivist, these cover everything from the provision of a universal basic income, to deploying the army to enforce restrictions and using alternative medicines.

You can download and read the full report here.

This project is exploring how Covid-19 is changing our relationships, interactions and experience of community in real-time.  It uses both a digital platform, whereby around 140 participants are currently sharing their stories and experiences online, supplemented with phone interviews with 30 people who do not have access to, or feel comfortable using, digital devices. We are focusing on three key themes:

  1. How the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting interactions between individual in society
  2. How the role of the digital realm plays a role in community response
  3. How individuals and communities relate to science and research

The Covid-19 & Community Life project builds on the Covid & You research we carried out earlier this year. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the research aims to give a more nationally represented sample of participants, capturing the diverse voices we find throughout the UK.