More than half of Brits are feeling more optimistic than at any point over the past 12 months – and truly feel there is light at the end of the Covid tunnel, research has revealed.
A survey of 2,000 adults revealed 47 per cent are confident we are over the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and that circumstances are only set to get better.
And 55 per cent believe the UK will stick to the government’s roadmap outlined by Boris Johnson two weeks ago, which will see all legal limits on social contact lifted on Monday 21st June.
Only 37 per cent think that restrictions could be imposed again after they have been lifted, or that there will be another national lockdown.
The optimism follows a difficult winter, which saw millions cooped up indoors during lockdown.
Nine in 10 adults feel sunlight is important to their physical (87 per cent) and mental (89 per cent) wellbeing and that they suffered as a result of the social restrictions during the dark winter months.
Hyundai commissioned the research to launch the world’s first ever ‘Tunnel of Light’, a unique structure designed to recreate the brightness of the sun and act as a beacon of optimism for some of those most affected by the pandemic.
The car manufacturer has gifted the Hyundai Tunnel of Light to Guy’s Hospital in London, where NHS staff and patients can bask in the glow of the immersive light installation between March 8 and April 4.
Measuring nine metres in length, the 25 square metre structure was created by world renowned light artists Squidsoup and is stacked with 160 light boxes which emulate the sun’s rays.
It features a vast array of collimated light sources that produces the illusion and perspective of a new sun, millions of miles away in a cloudless sky.
Paul Crawford, Professor at the Institute of Mental Health and author of Cabin Fever: Surviving Lockdown in the Coronavirus Pandemic, said: “Sunlight boosts our mental health by increasing serotonin and Vitamin D, improving our sleep and mood.
“It literally gives us a sunny disposition – something we all need just now.
“In a hospital so connected with Florence Nightingale, this project brings a new kind of lamp to its staff, patients and visitors.
“It offers a powerful symbol of hope and recovery after what has been a challenging year for many.”
The study found 54 per cent of adults have found this lockdown more difficult than the first one imposed in March 2020.
Three-quarters (73 per cent) admit they felt lethargic and slept during the day, while two-thirds say they suffered from a persistent low mood (65 per cent) or a loss of interest in everyday activities (65 per cent).
However, though two-thirds (64 per cent) confess it will take them time to adjust to normal life again, there is a sense of excitement about lockdown restrictions coming to an end.
A quarter (26 per cent) plan to adopt a more positive mindset following the pandemic, with 46 per cent determined to no longer take the little things for granted.
And 21 per cent look forward to taking more opportunities to step out of their comfort zone.
Alastair Gourlay, Director of Estates at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “The Tunnel of Light will bring a much-needed morale boost to some of those who deserve it most.
“It represents a welcome ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Guy’s and St Thomas’ which, like others in the NHS, has been working so incredibly hard to keep patients and staff safe and well during the pandemic.”
The Hyundai Tunnel of Light’s design and technology was inspired by the new Hyundai Tucson, including features such as the aesthetic Parametric Hidden Lights.
It is the fourth generation of Hyundai’s best-selling car and is available with a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and 48-volt mild hybrid options.
Ashley Andrew, Managing Director at Hyundai Motor UK, added: “We’re delighted to provide Guy’s Hospital with the incredible Tunnel of Light as a symbol of hope as we emerge from the latest national lockdown.
“The immersive light installation showcases the unique design and technology that Hyundai is known for, taking inspiration from the distinct features of the Hyundai Tucson which has been lighting the way since its launch in January.
“We wanted to show our appreciation, with this small token, for the NHS staff and patients who have worked so tirelessly during the last 12 months.”
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