Health, Wellbeing, and Social Interaction: An International and Demographic Analysis of Perceived Life Changes and the Positives and Negatives of the COVID-19 Lockdown


  • Jennifer Murray
  • Mandeep K. Dhami
  • Kirstie McClatchey
  • Leonardo Weiss-Cohen
  • Peter Ayton


Research suggests that people’s experiences of COVID-19 lockdowns have been detrimental to their lives and wellbeing. The current research compared the experiences and perceptions on health, wellbeing and social interaction of 300 UK adults and 450 adults in California. Individuals reported whether aspects of their life had changed for the better, worse, or not at all during lockdown in April 2020, and what the “best” and “worst” things about lockdown were. There were more similarities than differences in the regional comparison of perceptions of changes in specific aspects of ‘health and wellbeing’ and ‘social interaction’. Both regions reported the same number and nature of best and worst things about lockdown. Overarching themes of ‘health, self and wellbeing’, ‘being with others’, and ‘concerns with daily living’ were identified. Although reports of life changes and the positives and negatives of lockdown were similar across different demographic groups, some differences were present by age, sex, relationship, and family-status. Incorporating knowledge of unified and positive experiences of lockdown can be useful in informing future lockdown restrictions and supporting the population when restrictions are lifted.