More Filipinos are worried that the worst is yet to come on the coronavirus pandemic as those who feared Covid-19 infection surged to a new record high, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey said.
Of the 1,200 respondents polled from 12 to 16 September, 60 percent said they were pessimistic about the country’s Covid-19 crisis.
The figure was higher than the 39-percent figure logged last June. It also surpassed the previous worst of 57 percent recorded by the SWS in July 2020, six months after the country recorded its first Covid-19 case.
Conversely, the recent survey found that only 38 percent of respondents were optimistic about the future, a significant drop from the 59-percent figure reported in June.
The percentage of those fearing the worst is yet to come on the health crisis was highest in Balance Luzon (65 percent), followed by the Visayas (62 percent), Metro Manila (61 percent), and Mindanao (49 percent).
Respondents who were pessimistic on the country’s Covid-19 situation were up by 31 percentage points in the capital region — from 30 percent in June to 61 percent in September.
It also increased in Balance Luzon from 36 percent to 65 percent, in the Visayas from 45 percent to 62 percent, and Mindanao from 46 percent to 49 percent.
On the other hand, the percentage of respondents who were optimistic about the situation was highest in Mindanao (49 percent), followed by Metro Manila (37 percent), the Visayas (36 percent), and Balance Luzon (34 percent).
The pollster added that those with a worsening view of the pandemic grew in terms of educational background, noting the 28-point increase among college graduates, or from 34 percent in June to 62 percent in September.
The percentage of those who have a pessimistic view on the pandemic was also up by 20 points each among junior high school graduates (41 percent to 61 percent), elementary graduates (40 percent to 60 percent); and non-elementary graduates (36 percent to 56 percent).
The latest SWS poll also found that 91 percent of adult Filipinos were worried that anyone in their immediate family might catch Covid-19.
Of these, 76 percent were a “great deal” worried, 15 percent were “somewhat” worried, and four percent were a “little” worried. Only five percent of those polled said they were unperturbed at all.
The pollster pointed out that the latest percentage of those worried about catching Covid-19 was four points higher than the 87-percent figure reported in June and tied at the record-high level recorded in November 2020.
By area, the proportion of those who were worried the most was highest in the Visayas at 95 percent, followed by Mindanao (94 percent), Metro Manila (91 percent), and Balance Luzon (88 percent).
The worry from Covid-19 also rose in all educational levels. Among college graduates, it soared from 79 percent in June to 95 percent in September.
It also climbed among junior high school graduates (88 percent to 90 percent), elementary graduates (89 percent to 91 percent), and non-elementary graduates (85 percent to 87 percent).
The poll, which had a sampling error margin of ±3 percent for national percentages, was non-commissioned and was initiated by the SWS as a form of public service.
It was conducted at a time when the country was experiencing a new surge in infections, with new cases reported on 16 September hitting 21,261.
A month later, the country observed a significant decline of Covid-19 cases.
The Philippines’ recorded an average of 10,000 new Covid-19 cases last week, down from 18,000 in mid-September.