The raging pandemic and a consequent lockdown were initially perceived as a break and vacation before the dread finally settled in.
A study conducted by the Centre of Marketing in Engineering Economics (CMEE) at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L), in collaboration with Qualisys had a unique take on the imposition of the initial nationwide lockdown. According to the finding of this study, sampled on 931 representative individuals across the country, the lockdown was a vacation in disguise for many in India.
Quality Time in Lockdown
The Government of India had imposed a complete lockdown in the country as a precautionary measure to curtail the spread of the threatening coronavirus. While, a lot was still unknown about the virus and measures to deal with it, the fear of the virus and its transmission were shadowed by the relief of getting an unplanned break from work and businesses.
In the earlier phase of the national lockdown, people were happy to be staying at home with their families, working in pyjamas and avoiding the endless traffic jams from office to work and vice versa. The CMEE was a pan-India online study which was conducted early in the month of July and about 931 respondents participated in it. A section of 13% of these respondents had not faced the economical downfalls of this complete shut down and treated it as an unplanned vacation. 56% of these people were happy as they got a chance to experiment with new dishes in their kitchens and around 38% of them were to catch-up with their friends and family through calls and video conferences, something they could not do earlier because of their busy schedule. A majority of people pursued to hobbies while some covered up their sleep deficits.
Professor Satyabhusan Dash of IIM CMEE i.ytimg.com
Led by Professor Satyabhusan Dash of IIM Lucknow, the results of this study were aligned with the hypothesis and as expected, people with higher income had a higher happiness quotient. About 15% of those who fell in the 0 lakh p.a salary bracket, were happy when compared to a diminished 7% of people falling under lesser salary brackets. "Happiness is a frame of mind and once the factors that contributed to that happiness change, the mood could change. But it was interesting to see that some viewed lockdown like a vacation,"said Professor Dash.
This happiness did not imply that these people were not anxious over the raging pandemic; 52% of people were very worried, however, they managed to stay in a happy state of mind. The degree of this anxiety was translated as fright in 40%, sadness in 22%, as disgust in 11% and as surprise and anger in 9% and 5% respectively.
Conducted entirely through online means, the participants in the study were from 23 states and 104 cities in India across metros, tier-1 and tier-2 cities. To cover a large and fair representative sample across India, snowball sampling methods were used. Snowball sampling is a method where research participants recruit other participants for the test or study, increasing the sample size, with progression, like a rolling snowball. As many as 62% of these participants were males and this is being pinned on the nature of the online platforms through which the study was conducted. 63% were people with higher education and nearly 40% of people were identified to have an income range of more that ₹10 lakh per annum
This pan-India survey is suggestive of the pressures and work-load of our daily lives; the raging pandemic and a consequent lockdown were initially perceived as a break and vacation before the dread finally settled in.