Two years into the pandemic, COVID-19 has accounted for over 200,000 deaths in the UK. Qualitative research can help to explore accounts related to the difficulties, challenges and suffering that a global pandemic can cause, and provide the ‘lived experiences’ behind death, from the perspective of close friends and family.
Building on the work of the Swansea University Public Views During the COVID-19 Pandemic (PVCOVID) project, this study aims to look retrospectively at public attitudes towards the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, focused on the accounts of those who have been bereaved by COVID-19.
This qualitative research will document, explore and analyse people’s own accounts of loss, bereavement and grief during the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring also their reflections of how the pandemic was handled, the support they received or did not receive and what might have been done differently.
The study will explore through a combination of virtual focus groups, virtual interviews, online open-text survey and other virtual documents (e.g. diary, journal accounts, blog entries), to explore how people experienced bereavement related to COVID-19 during the pandemic.
The research has fed into policy, government an scientific advisory documents and processes at the Welsh and UK-level, and has been published in a number of academic journals. Building on the PVCOVID project, the Coronavoices project seeks to have similar impact, speaking the people’s truth to power.
The PVCOVID project and its research team has also been discussed or quoted in a variety of media including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, BBC Newsnight, BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The i, and New Scientist.
As society seeks to understand and as COVID-19 inquiries are ongoing, independent academic research that seeks to explore public accounts of the pandemic and people’s experiences of loss and reflections of how they were supported and not supported are essential.