'We need to live our lives' - Mercury survey reveals Covid impact

People out and about at Great Yarmouth seafront as Covid restrictions are eased. Picture: DENISE BRA

People in Great Yarmouth responding to a Mercury survey have voiced impatience with the pandemic and a desire to get back to normal life. Picture shows people enjoying the seafront as restrictions were eased. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A survey to gauge people's views and experiences during the pandemic has given an insight into how the borough has been affected.

Readers have expressed concerns about mental health, the affect of lockdown and isolation on children's lives and education, and anxiety for the future - leading to a general impatience to "just get on with it and live our lives".

Hundreds of Great Yarmouth Mercury readers responded to a series of questions about Covid-related issues including vaccinations, future lockdowns, and whether they had had the virus.

It revealed 36pc had tested positive for Covid-19 and a further 10pc believed they had been infected but not had it confirmed by a test.

Of those saying they had had the virus 74pc said they had experienced mild to moderate symptoms similar to flu, 13pc said they were very ill but stayed at home, and 4pc were hospitalised.

8pc of respondents said they had no symptoms at all and 3pc said they had had the disease twice.

Another 43pc said either they, or someone they knew, had long-Covid.

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More than a third, 38pc, said they knew someone who had died after becoming infected.

When it came to vaccinations the majority of those answering our poll, 70pc, said they had had all three jabs - a figure higher than the national average.

A further 16pc said they had had none at all.

However, while 62pc said they would be jabbed again, 22pc said they would not be open to the prospect.

The remaining 16pc who refused the first three vaccinations said they wouldn't be starting now.

Our survey revealed compliance was high when it came to wearing facemasks in required settings  with 78pc saying they always wore them, 18pc saying they didn't and 4pc saying they had an exemption.

70pc of people also said they tested at least once a week with 7pc saying they did a lateral flow every day.

Overall 87pc said  life had been changed by the pandemic, 19pc saying it had been changed "hugely."

And given the disruption 39pc said they did not support any further lockdowns, the rest saying only if it was necessary and in extreme circumstances.

Generally, when it came to the additional comments, there was an air of despondency and impatience with people sharing tales of misery, isolation, job losses, loneliness, frustration, and anger.

What readers said:

"After the diabolical actions of 10 Downing Street we should now be able to get on with our lives as normal and scrap mask wearing."

"I am aware of Covid and continue to wash hands and do whatever it takes to keep safe and well."

"As a health care worker I feel far too many people think it is ok to put us at risk by not following rules."

"Before Covid life was pretty good, I had a job and was paying into a pension scheme.

"Fast forward to now, no job, and pension had to be cashed in to pay the mortgage. I’m classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and have resigned myself to probably never working again full time and any idea of a pension has gone . I’ll probably end up working in some shape or form until I die now."

"Being furloughed for 14 months gave me huge mental health issues."

"Lockdown was awful - just existing not living. Missed having fun with friends and family."

"I am so glad of the vaccine program and feel I would’ve been seriously Ill without them when I caught Covid."

"I strongly believe that we have over reacted to this epidemic."

"Scared to go out, scared of dying - I wish someone could find a cure to make it all go away."