OLDER people appear to be handling the psychological pressures of the pandemic better than those who are younger.
Interim results from the survey launched a fortnight ago by the University of York St John and the Church Times suggest that those aged 50 or older report that they feel less exhausted, calmer, less stressed, and closer to God and the Church than do the people aged under 50 who have completed the questionnaire.
Professors Andrew Village and Leslie Francis, who compiled the survey, suggested this week that the difference might be that under-50s were more likely to be juggling work and young families.
There is little difference between clergy and laity. Women are reporting higher anxiety levels than men, but, on average, feel more prayerful and closer to God.
One interesting find is that, against expectations, extraverts are coping better with the lockdown than introverts.
The survey’s authors suggest that more analysis is needed, but wonder whether the findings suggest that outgoing people are better able to handle the virtual world and draw strength from their many different contacts, whereas introverted people tend to rely on a few, deeper relationships.
To date, more than 3000 people have completed the survey. The survey is still open. As well as asking how people have coped with the pandemic restrictions, it contains questions about contact with the Church online, whether pastoral care has been given or received, and canvasses views on how the pandemic has been handled by the Government.
The greater the number of respondents — and the greater their variety — the sounder will be the conclusions. Please pass on the link to as many contacts as you can: tinyurl.com/ycsq9fy2.
Final results from the survey will be reported in the Church Times in the coming weeks.