Four out of 10 Seoul residents believe their mental health has deteriorated due to the coronavirus outbreak, a poll showed Wednesday.
In the poll of 3,983 citizens in their teens to 80s, 40 percent, or 1,489, said their mental health has worsened since the COVID-19 outbreak erupted early this year. The remaining 60 percent said there has been little change in their mental health.
The survey was conducted online by the Seoul metropolitan government from July to August and its results were analyzed with the support of an artificial intelligence program provided by IBM Korea.
As for the reasons for the deterioration of mental health, the concerned respondents cited economic difficulties, economic downturn, lack of leisure life due to social distancing, reduced outdoor activities, reduced exchanges, inconvenience of wearing a mask, disconnection among family members and lack of interpersonal relationships.
As for a possible coronavirus impact on their physical health, only 25 percent, or 892 respondents, cited deterioration, the poll found.
Among the most difficult things caused by COVID-19, 32 percent, or 1,128, cited reduced leisure activities and travel, followed by reduced exchanges with other people (26 percent), unemployment or income loss (24 percent), use of public transport (12 percent) and shopping or eating out (6 percent).
More than half of respondents (51 percent) said social distancing guidelines are indispensable and cause little inconvenience, while another 41 percent said the distancing policy is necessary but somewhat inconvenient.
When asked if they have ever felt isolation due to social distancing, 43 percent said they didn't feel it very much, with another 27 percent saying they didn't feel it at all.
By contrast, 30 percent said they felt isolation due to social distancing, the survey said. (Yonhap)