And new survey shows that Hongkongers are planning for a long haul with COVID-19 and are taking steps to keep themselves safe and healthy for another bumpy year ahead.
Hongkongers are changing their lifestyle amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly three quarters (72%) saying they now eat more healthily and over half (54%) saying they have exercised more over the past year, according to a new survey commissioned by Manulife.
Manulife’s latest survey reveals that Hongkongers expect the COVID-19 pandemic to last and seek healthier habits to prepare for an extended presence of the virus, according to Wilton Kee, Vice President, Chief Product Officer and Head of Health at Manulife Hong Kong.
The survey, which looked at behavioural changes caused by the pandemic, showed that two-thirds of respondents (67%) expect face masks will be needed for at least a year, while over half (54%) of them said the same for the use of hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes. Underscoring those concerns, nearly two thirds (62%) said they have stocked enough face masks to last three months or longer, with over half (52%) saying the same for storing hand sanitizers.
The vast majority (67%) of the respondents would see a doctor immediately if they have persistent symptoms of coughing, headache, pain or fatigue, while a third (33%) of them said they would avoid visiting a doctor during this period.
“The pandemic has had a deep impact on everyone’s lives around the world and here in Hong Kong we’ve seen people taking more responsibility for their own health, improving their eating habits, exercising more regularly and preparing for an extended presence of the virus,” said Wilton Kee, Vice President, Chief Product Officer and Head of Health at Manulife Hong Kong. “It’s reassuring to see these positive lifestyle changes and renewed focus on healthy habits despite the challenging times we are facing.”
Future financial planning at the forefront
The findings indicate that younger people in Hong Kong – those in the 18-24 age bracket – have been harder hit by the pandemic financially. Nearly two-in-five (39%) said they are using the money to subsidize reduced or lost work income, a rate considerably higher than the overall average (24%). Though the vast majority (73%) of people in Hong Kong said they feel more stressed since the onset of the pandemic, that rate is considerably higher for the 18-24-age group (83%), underscoring the increased financial pressure on the city’s youth.
“It’s hard to tell at this point how long it will take for the economy to rebound, but future-minded people in Hong Kong know they need to stash away part of the government’s payout cash to deal with lingering uncertainties and improve their financial well-being also,” Mr. Kee added. “This is particularly true for younger people who are bearing the brunt of the slowdown in economic activity.”