The iCARE survey generated 28,125 responses over the first two months. A total of 66,519 responses have been collected as of June 30, 2021. View full screen
Responses have largely come from women between the ages of 25 and 50, employed, living in urban settings with a college- or university-level education (or higher), and earning an income in the middle third of their respective countries. View full screen
HEALTH MEASURES AND BEHAVIOURS
Hand washing is one of the key health behaviours recommended by the vast majority of health authorities around the world. In places where access to water is reliable, this health behaviour has been widely adopted. Since March 2020, an average of 85% of all responses confirmed engaging in it “most of the time.”
After a consistent decrease in engagement between March and August 2020 (with a marked decrease in August), we see re-engagement from September 2020 to January 2021. Another decrease in engagement took place from February to May 2021, with a marked decrease in June.
Mask wearing is one of the key health behaviours recommended by most health authorities. It was not initially recommended but as health authorities began to talk about its importance — and as it became more and more mandatory in different settings — engagement rates soared month after month, markedly in August and peaking in October 2020.
Despite a small decrease in engagement in November 2020, engagement levels were at their highest in January 2021 (97%) and fell again for an average of 93% between February and June 2021.
Mask wearing is the health behaviour that has shown the highest and most consistent engagement since March 2020.
Physical distancing is another key health behaviour recommended by most health authorities. Physical distancing is not instinctive behaviour and engagement with it has waned over time.
Responses showed an average engagement rate of 80% between March 2020 and February 2021.
With new data from March and June 2021, this overall rate has fallen to 72%. A marked decrease is seen in June 2021, with engagement falling to 59%.
SOCIAL GATHERINGS (ALL TYPES)
Avoiding social gatherings is a health behaviour that is overwhelmingly not instinctive. Engagement with this behaviour has been visibly challenging with an overall average of 49% between July 2020 and June 2021.
We saw a low level of engagement (42%) in September 2020 and a high (68%) in January 2021 which was not maintained.
Engagement with this health behaviour continues to be difficult and has been consistently on the decline since January 2021, with a 33% engagement rate in June 2021, the lowest rate since the onset of the pandemic.
SOCIAL GATHERINGS (LARGE VS. SMALL)
Starting in July 2020, the iCARE study began distinguishing between large and small gatherings.
Avoidance of large social gatherings had an overall engagement rate of 85% between July 2020 and January 2021 and decreased to 81% between February and June 2021.
In comparison, avoidance of smaller social gatherings had an overall engagement rate of only 50% from July 2020 to June 2021.
There is a marked disengagement from avoiding small social gatherings between January and June 2021, from 72% in January to the lowest engagement rate to date (33%) in June.
QUARANTINE AFTER TRAVEL
Rates of engagement with self-quarantining “most of the time” after travel were initially relatively stable from March to July 2020, with an average of 84%, but have since been consistently in decline, despite the brief uptick to 86% in January 2021.
Overall engagement with this health behaviour between March 2020 and June 2021 was 75%. The highest engagement rate was seen right at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 (87%) and the lowest engagement rate was seen in April 2021 (58%).
QUARANTINE (EXPOSURE OR SYMPTOMATIC)
Rates of engagement with self-quarantining “most of the time” after exposure to the virus or if symptomatic are much higher and show much less variability than self-quarantine after travel, which is encouraging.
Overall engagement with this health behaviour between March 2020 and June 2021 was 87%. The highest engagement rate was seen in January 2021 (95%) and the lowest engagement rates were seen in April 2020 (83%), August 2020 (83%), and April 2021 (82%).
ENGAGEMENT WITH MEASURES OVER TIME
After a spike in adherence across virtually all health behaviours in January 2021, we see a marked decrease in engagement across them all since February 2021 with a marked decrease in June 2021.
This may indicate that respondents are able to increase their efforts during short periods in response to key variables.
Physical distancing and avoiding small gatherings are showing the greatest decreases in engagement in June 2021.