Study reveals unexpected upside of coronavirus isolation

Coronavirus is bringing local communities closer together, according to a new study. Image: Getty Images

A new study has revealed an unexpected benefit of coronavirus isolation, and it might not be one you would expect.

The social lockdown intended to curtail the spread is actually bringing communities together – with a quarter of adults saying it has seen them talk to neighbours they previously had no relationship with.

A study of 2,000 adults found 64% believe COVID-19 is bringing their local area closer together.

This is because many people are now carrying out acts of kindness they wouldn’t have done before the outbreak, with three in 10 checking in on elderly relatives and another 23% getting in touch with a vulnerable neighbour to offer help.

One-third have also offered to get shopping and essentials for those unable to leave the house.

Neighbours in Porta Genova listening to music while drinking wine during the lock down. Photo: Getty Images

Others have started to donate to food banks (13%), volunteered for charity or local groups (10%) or shopped from a small or local business instead of simply going to a large chain (28%).

The study also revealed more than four in 10 said their street or community has set up a help group for those nearby who are unable to go out due to being elderly, vulnerable or in self-isolation.

Siobhan Freegard from - who conducted the research - said: “The coronavirus crisis might be causing stress and fear but it’s also kick-started a wave of kindness around the country.

"People are putting politics and other divisions behind them to concentrate on helping each other and bringing their communities back together.

"By sticking together and supporting those around us, we can hopefully make the uncertain weeks and months ahead a little easier.”

But it’s not just communities which are being affected by coronavirus.

Bringing couples together

Half of those polled believe it isolation will bring them closer to their partner because they will have more quality time together.

Two-thirds of those living with their partner are now with their other half more than usual due to social distancing, self-isolation or working from home, where almost 60% of couples say they previously struggled to enjoy each others company because of competing work and social commitments.

More than two-thirds of those polled even believe there will be a baby boom in nine months as couples have the time to reconnect with each other.

At home date nights surge

As people avoid pubs, bars and restaurants, 43% of couples polled, via OnePoll, are turning to ‘at home’ date nights as they try to keep the spark alive in their relationship.

Watching a film together is considered the most popular way to spend time together at home, along with having a home-cooked meal, a few drinks and a good old conversation.

Cuddles on the sofa, sex and a social media and gadget ban are also considered ideal home date night activities.

The top 10 things which make up the ideal home date night have been found to be:

1. Watching a film together (57%)

2. A home-cooked meal (56%)

3. Some alcoholic drinks (43%)

4. Conversation (41%)

5. Cuddles on the sofa (40%)

6. Sex (36%)

7. Music (26%)

8. Bingeing on box sets (24%)

9. Playing games (24%)

10. A social media and gadget ban (13%)

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