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Pandemic hasn't changed life much for most Germans

February 3, 2021

While people in the US, UK and France feel the pandemic has impacted their daily lives, 52% of Germans said there hasn't been too much of a change, a survey has found. But those attitudes have shifted since the summer.

A woman sits with a child during virtual schooling lessons
More women than men report that their lives have changed due to the pandemic, the survey showedImage: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa/picture alliance

Despite the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions, a thin majority of people in Germany still say their lives have not largely changed, according to a survey published on Wednesday.

The results come the US-based PEW Research Center. Its researchers surveyed 4,069 adults in the US, France, the UK and Germany at the end of last year.

In the US, 74% of people surveyed said the pandemic has changed "a great deal or fair amount" of their everyday lives.

Some 70% in the UK and 67% in France said they felt the same way.

Germany was the only country where less than half of people surveyed said they felt the same thing.

A slight majority of 52% of respondents in Germany said the pandemic has changed their lives "not too much/ not at all."

How have attitudes changed since the summer?

While the results from Germany may be surprising,the changes felt by the pandemic have grown greatly compared with attitudes in the summer.

The number of people in Germany who felt the pandemic had changed their lives to some degree or by a great deal rose sharply, from 38% in June to 47% in December.

Across the board, people in the four surveyed countries have felt a change in their lives as the pandemic entered the winter months.

How have women been impacted?

The survey shows that women have felt the brunt of the pandemic more than men.

Of the four countries surveyed, women in at least three of the countries say that their lives are impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Germany, 52% of women said their lives had changed, while only 42% of men said they felt the same.

The largest gap was in the United States, where 79% women said that their lives have been affected compared to 68% of men.

Studies have shown that more women lost their jobs than men in the US during the pandemic.

Support for government measures slipping

Overall, an overwhelming majority of people surveyed in Germany feel that Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is handling the crisis well — but that support is also dropping.

Some 77% of Germans said they believe their government has done a good job — which is a significant drop from the 88% who felt the same in June.

The United States also saw a drop in support for the government's handling of the crisis, from 47% in June to 41% in December.