Increasing numbers of workers in Israel have reported feeling anxiety and concern over their ability to pay their bills during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported last week, releasing the results of a poll measuring what it called “civil resilience.”
According to the CBS study, conducted earlier this month, 42% of working age citizens of the country (around 2.4 million people) reported feeling anxiety, up 9% since a previous survey conducted when the country eased its national lockdown in mid-May.The latest report indicated that 21% of respondents affirmed experiencing feelings of depression (up from 16% in May), 19% expressed a sense of loneliness, and 26% said that their mental health had “worsened” or “significantly worsened” during the crisis. Food insecurity has also risen during the second wave, with 21% (33% among Arab citizens) stating that they or someone in their household had reduced their food intake during the crisis to save money, up from 14% in May. The Israeli Employment Service has said the country’s unemployment rate is currently over 21%.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has hit far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hard, chipping away at his popularity and leaving a majority of citizens dissatisfied with his performance, according to two television polls release in recent days. According to a Channel 13 poll, 61% of the respondents disapproved of the PM’s overall handling of the coronavirus crisis and 75% were unhappy with how his government has handled the economic fallout of the pandemic. Only 16% said that they were satisfied with the government’s economic response. This marked a stark reversal from how the public viewed the prime minister in April, during the first wave of the virus, when 70% were either satisfied or very satisfied with his performance.