June 3, 2023

Living in Kilkenny during Covid-19: KCLR survey provides interesting snapshot of life in the time of coronavirus

Locals may not by going on their usual holidays this summer, but generally people are knuckling down, staying upbeat and looking forward to a shopping splurge later this year once the restrictions are lifted.

That’s according to a new online survey – called Living in Carlow and Kilkenny During Covid-19 – released by KCLR this morning

A total of 508 respondents took part in the online survey, which was carried out by the local station from May 11 to 17, and offers a snapshot into overall wellness and attitudes, consumer spending and business activity.

KCLR general manager Pat Gardiner said it was a vital exercise to tune in to how listeners were feeling as a result of the pandemic in their lives.

“We decided to take the temperature on the issue. The findings are an important body of information…a localised snapshot of how people are thinking and feeling right now,” Mr Gardner added.

A total of 224 people said business restrictions had impacted them and their job, with 179 say it hadn’t.

Some 28% said their the salaries had been affected by the pandemic, with 38% of those experiencing a reduction in salary of 40% or more.

Over two-thirds (67%) admitted the pandemic had resulted in an increase in their groceries/shopping spend.

When asked to describe their personal experience of the lockdown, 46% said it was “bearable”, 19% described it as “difficult”  and six per cent saying they found it “very difficult”. Others said it was a positive experience (17%), with 12% describing the Covid-19 landscape “refreshing”.

“What stood out to me was the resilience of our listeners, who have told us they accept social distancing and lockdown restrictions,” said Mr Gardiner.

“There are some who are finding this very difficult but, by and large, people have found it endurable and have had a change in attitude as a result.”

Family life was the most impacted area (51%), following by social life (32%), financial (10%) and heath (7%).

More than 50% of respondents believed that health and fitness was more important now.

When asked about life after Covid restrictions were lifted, more than half wanted to go back to how things were in terms of cinema visits and nights out.

However, 35% of people admitted they were less likely to visit pubs/nightclubs and just seven per cent would increase their visits. Just 17% admitted to wanting to eat out more and 21% do so less.

Almost three out of every four respondents said they are keen to visit health and beauty spas and salons: 17% wanted to attend more, and 9% to go less frequently.

When asked about online shopping once the restrictions lift, 37% said they wanted to do less – with 10% saying they want to do more.

On a bright note, 66% of people said they wanted to shop locally once the restrictions are lifted.

When it comes to housing, 7% were looking to buy this year. Some 68% of homeowners said they are considering investing in their home, garden or both.

Motor sales are likely to steer in the direction of used car purchases later this year (13%), with just three per cent wanting a buy a new vehicle.

Meanwhile, a savvy 74% of respondents said they intended to shop around for insurance quotes.

The staycation will be popular again in 2020, with 33% staying home-side for their break, 12% aching to travel abroad, but most (56%) not having any holiday at all.

Next year’s travel figures looked more hopeful, however, with 24% wanting to holiday in Ireland and 54% jetting off overseas.

Commenting on the overall picture emerging from the survey, Mr Gardiner said: “There is now a stronger focus for supporting local families, voluntary organisations, employees and businesses.

“As a local radio station, it’s important for us to remain plugged in to the needs our listeners so we can continue to give them programming that they want. It also serves our advertisers, a way of helping them to help our listeners.

“What has also emerged is a desire for the people of Carlow and Kilkenny to work through this as one,” he concluded, adding the survey forms part of Kilkenny and Carlow’s “local roadmap for recovery.”

PHOTO: Shutterstock 

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