Degree of freedom of life for December slips slightly from last month to 61.3 points, which is still the second highest score this year. Degree of anxiety rises on Omicron variant concerns
Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living, a think tank of Hakuhodo Inc., conducts a monthly “Survey of Sei-katsu-sha Concerning COVID-19” to get a current picture of sei-katsu-sha attitudes and behaviors during the coronavirus pandemic. The December 2021 survey was conducted over December 2–6 in the Greater Tokyo (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, and Ibaraki Prefectures), Greater Nagoya (Aichi, Mie, and Gifu Prefectures), and Hanshin (Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Nara Prefectures) areas, targeting 1,500 males and females aged 20–69. See p. 8 for the survey outline.
Conditions prior to the survey: The decline in new daily cases continued throughout November, with numbers remaining at low levels such that it was not uncommon to have days of less than 100 new cases nationwide, with only single digits recorded in Tokyo. Starting in December, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government eased dining capacity limits at establishments with certified COVID-19 control measures from four to eight people per party. Rollout of a third round of vaccinations to boost antibody protection against the virus began for some people. In spite of these positive developments, the new Omicron variant was discovered in South Africa at the end of November, and its spread has surged around the world. Japan quickly put border control measures in place, but domestic Omicron cases have already been found. The December survey was conducted amid the conditions outlined above.