As the COVID-19 pandemic reached a peak in China by the end of 2022, and the Lunar New Year was coming, in order to thoroughly understand the impact of the pandemic and the latest pandemic prevention policies on people’s happiness and daily life, a team formed by Jia Jianmin, Professor of School of Management and Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHK-Shenzhen), Xue Lan, Senior Professor of Liberal Arts, Tsinghua University, Yuan Yun, a Ph.D. Student of Tsinghua University, and Jia Shi, Associate Professor of the University of Hong Kong, gave another national questionnaire on people’s sense of happiness and COVID-19 pandemic during the Spring Festival and applied the explainable boosting machine (EBM) and regression analysis method to evaluate survey data and explored more accurately on how various factors affected and related to people’s sense of happiness and COVID-19 risk perceptions during the Spring Festival.
Before and after the Spring Festival, the research team conducted two large-scale surveys on the Credamo platform, with a total of 5,276 valid questionnaires collected from 249 cities across the country. The results showed that, 63.5% of people chose to “celebrate in place”, significantly decreased from 76.06% during the same period in 2022, the Year of the Tiger. During the Spring Festival in the Year of the Rabbit, the sense of happiness among the people heading back to their hometowns for Lunar New Year celebrations (including returning home to visit relatives and traveling) (5.79) is higher than that of the group who “celebrated in place” (5.30). In general, 83.1% of people reported “in a quite good mood”.
Notably, people visiting relatives or traveling in other places during the Spring Festival felt much happier compared with the previous year (5.51). The survey before the Spring Festival showed that people who had preferred visiting relatives in other places or traveling during the holiday were usually more stressed and had less happiness in life than those who celebrated in place. After the Spring Festival, the gap was narrowed as the former enhanced happiness during the Spring Festival by returning to hometowns for visiting relatives or traveling. In the survey, machine learning and statistical analysis models offered the research team more scientific data insights. The sentiment analysis of the texts showed that a vast majority of people remained optimistic towards the epidemic and responded actively to various difficulties brought about by the epidemic in their life and work.