Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi residents asked to have say on life after Covid-19

Survey from the Department of Community Development aims to assess reaction to the government's handling of the pandemic

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, May 10, 2020.  
 The reopening of the Al Wahda Mall during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Distance signs on the mall floors.
Victor Besa/The National
Section:  NA

Abu Dhabi residents are being urged to have their say on how 'life after coronavirus' will take shape.

In a wide-ranging survey commissioned by the emirate's Department of Community Development, respondents are asked how the pandemic has impacted society - and how will it alter their way of life in the future.

Officials said the poll will help authorities to deliver strategies and tailor services as the nation braces itself for a new reality following Covid-19.

The questionnaire will gauge people's opinion on key issues, from mental health and well-being to social distancing, job security and education.

“The Life After Coronavirus Pandemic survey aims to identify the changes that might have affected different aspects of life, and specifically the social aspect," said Dr Muna Al Bahar, an advisor at DCD.

"This survey will monitor the future effects of these variables to help find an ideal approach to deal with them and reduce the future social and economic impacts if any.

“The survey also measures everyday lifestyles and behaviors and their vulnerability to pandemic conditions."

Searching questions posed by the survey include "when will life get back to normal" after the Covid-19 health crisis, with options ranging from "before July" to '"in a couple of years".

People are also asked if they think they will able to maintain their current job due after the outbreak and if they expect their pay to be reduced "substantially", stay the same or even increase.

The survey also considers the rise in remote working necessitated by strict safety measures imposed to limit infection rates.

People are asked if they prefer working at home, what are the greatest benefits and if they feel it will become common practice in the post-Covid-19 age.

The state of the nation's schools - where pupils and teachers are using distance-learning methods - is also addressed.

The survey questions whether distance learning is "a burden" for parents of younger children and can only serve as a short-term solution.

Views are sought on how the pandemic  has affected mental health. People are asked if they have developed feelings of fear, loneliness, depression, had trouble sleeping, were overeating and required counselling as a result of the societal impact of the virus.

Residents are asked if they believe social distancing practices will continue for a long period and if the outbreak will lead to significant cultural changes.

The government's Covid-19 strategy is also put under the spotlight.

Respondents are questioned on their trust in the government's ability to effectively respond to the pandemic and if they have faith in its efforts to support people with disabilities and the elderly during the public health crisis.

The poll also assesses if the viral outbreak will make the public less likely to carry out once routine activities, such as visiting friends and going to restaurants.

Residents can take part in the survey via this link.