A second wave of pessimism

By Ian Silvera, Account Director

Maybe it’s the way Patrick Swayze’s character treated Keanu Reeves (aka Johnny Utah) in Point Break or that ice cream sundae that came shooting back up during a stomach-churning boat trip in Majorca, I’ve always had a strong aversion to second waves and that’s why recent Covid-19-related reports have been somewhat anxiety inducing. 

We’ve now learned of a second local lockdown in Spain, a second wave of the virus in Israel and a shutdown of Leicester, easily the second best city in the East Midlands. Even where there are no second waves, there is an uneasy feeling that a flare-up of the virus is almost inevitable. 

Take Australia, which has had a relatively easy time of it compared to parts of Europe and the US. Down Under there is growing discontent after Melbourne, Victoria, had a breakout. 

Our colleagues at Newgate Australia surveyed more than 1,200 people between 29 June and 1 July, finding that 55% of respondents expected it to be worse in a month (against just 32% two weeks ago). The number of Australians who thought it would get worse in three months had also increased to 33% (compared with 23% two weeks ago).

Elsewhere, two thirds (64%) are now ‘extremely’ or ‘quite’ concerned about infections and deaths across the community compared to 59% last week and three in five (57%) are concerned about someone in their immediate family catching it compared to 52% last week.

In the UK, meanwhile, we are already playing the blame games before a second wave emerges. A poll for ITV by JL Partners found that a majority of the public would, erm, blame themselves for another outbreak, while almost half (48%) of those surveyed expected a second spike in the winter. This research was conducted before the controversial pub-going event dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ by the media. Which, to quote Swayze, was “100% pure adrenaline” for some and 100% pure stupid for others.