September 5, 2023
As August approaches, we recall that the Covid-19 epidemic broke out at the end of 2019, and it has been almost two years. Compared with the huge severe disasters around the world, the epidemic in Taiwan has also become tight this May. After several weeks of alert, the epidemic has slowed down recently and the government has also downgraded the alert from level three to level two. Not only is it gradually opening up limited crowds, catering-related industries are also able to open indoor dining in compliance with the guidelines. People are taking turns working in the office, and educational places are expected to open, etc. From the survey of people's feelings toward the environment in the past few months, what has changed and what hasn’t? At this moment, what factors have affected Taiwanese people’s behavior and what changes are expected?
From the ongoing tracking of Taiwanese netizens’ views on the environment, it can be seen that June and July were when it’s the most tense, with 60% to 70% of the people feeling pessimistic about the past year. However, in addition to the pessimism of 50% of the public, they have stabilized in July and August, reaching the same level as before the outbreak of the epidemic this May. But if we look at it in more details: Taiwanese people’s sense of crisis in June and July suddenly showed their pessimism about the past year, that is, their anxiety at that moment; as for whether they feel optimistic about the next year, except for in June, most people have returned to the same as before this wave of the epidemic, but observation shows that there are two different perspectives to the future, each with 30%.
If you feel worse and worse about the environment in the past year, it actually means that you are full of crisis anxiety about the epidemic. From this perspective, it is true that the sense of crisis about the epidemic has gradually reduced. On the other hand, the indicators of environmental perception in the coming year contain an assessment of the future. Here, the general public in Taiwan is showing a conservative and stable attitude. However, whether there will be an increasingly bipolar trend in the future is worth continuing investigation.
The reason why people will have mixed feelings about the environment in the future is that, on the one hand, the number of people vaccinated in Taiwan is gradually increasing and the epidemic is currently under control; on the other hand, variant viruses including Delta are on the rise and domestic vaccines are difficult to be trusted completely, and the delivery date of foreign vaccines are also full of uncertainty; in addition, neighboring countries such as Japan, Australia, and China have entered a new round of infection peaks or adopted lockdowns. In these future scenarios when the situation is unpredictable, it explains the different interpretations and attitudes of the people.
Although the public can only be conservative about the trend in the future, at least the public’s attitude is less nervous compared with previous months; in addition, it also shows that the vaccine application rate and the public’s willingness to get vaccinated are both high. In this wave of public opinion on vaccine safety, side effects, etc., it is believed that at least various debates on vaccines have been opened up by people in Taiwan. Although it may not be possible to reach a consensus, at least the biggest agreement is that most people are open to vaccination. The survey also shows The main reason why the people haven’t gotten vaccinated is because they have not yet gotten the chance for that.
The epidemic affects social and economic power and the trends of people’s consumption. The survey shows that the recent consumption budget has basically been reduced, and the products expected to be invested in the budget are still packaged food, medical and health care products and household goods as the largest, which shows at least two reasons.
For the catering service industry, which is the most sensitive to this wave of epidemics, it is actually very likely to be a crucial transformation that shows the changes in consumer behavior patterns throughout the era. For example, the consumption of physical experience is still important, but businesses are willing to introduce more products suitable for home use (including changing the hot pot from dining in to eating at home; or the fitness exercise course provides both online and offline courses at the same time, which is flexible to change with the epidemic); or encouraging businesses to take online shops seriously, or to improve the actual culture, product experience, etc. that must be controlled by people. This is not a bad thing in the long run.
However, it is worth noting that as the alert level is lowered to level 2, will many tours develop exquisite, rare and unique experiences due to the limitation of the number of people? The five-time promotion voucher has been approved for implementation in October. Although it must be affected by the epidemic situation at that time, will the tourism industry be ready by then? Is it possible that the "vaccine pass" launched in many countries will also be launched in Taiwan, or at least become an opportunity for domestic and foreign tourism? In addition, if you gradually return to the physical (such as the opening of a school), which online services will be matched with other transformations according to the situation? These are worthy of our continuous research and tracking.