Most believed that COVID was a real illness, with a defined risk profile. Most were not opposed to vaccination as medical practice in itself, but did express doubts about the rapid development, deployment and side effect profiles of the current COVID vaccines. Many participants were not personally affected by the lockdown measures, but some recounted ostracism from activities due to their choices around masking and vaccination.
The main challenge for most was managing relationships with others that had a differing view of the situation, e.g. friends and family. As a result of the past two years, participants reported increased scepticism and a greater suspicion towards the state, medical profession and vaccination as a medical practice. Some reported increased mistrust in other members of the public, borne out of a sense of disbelief at the ease with which they viewed most people as acquiescing to a state of affairs that participants regarded as highly abnormal.