Australians are digging in for the long social distancing haul, with new data revealing that most expect government restrictions to last for four to six months and do not anticipate normal working life returning for up to a year.
Results from surveys run by C|T Group, formerly Crosby Textor, from April 2-5 and March 23-26 reveal that the public's expectations for when restrictions would lift lengthened between the two weeks.
Perceptions of the pandemic also shifted from it being in its early stages to now heading toward its peak.
In other countries, in contrast, people expected their social and work lives to return to normal earlier, despite having higher incidences of COVID-19 infections and mortalities than Australia.
C|T Group managing director of research and campaigns, Catherine Douglas, put the difference down to the Australian no-frills spirit.
"There's something about the Australian psyche, calling a spade a spade, which means they've accepted this is the new reality so now we need to crack on and see how this can be done."
The acceptance that the current rules could be the "new normal" is coupled with less concern among surveyed Australians that society is collapsing, which Ms Douglas put down to greater acceptance of the situation.
In the first round of the survey, 67 per cent of Australians felt society was breaking down over the virus. But by the second round, that was down to 54 per cent.
There is also a greater sense of community and national pride developing as the pandemic continues, and increasing care for future generations.
But these feelings are not translating into greater happiness. Feelings of fulfilment and wellbeing significantly worsened as a result of the virus across the two weeks the surveys were taken.
Ms Douglas said this showed there was now a need for "really decisive leadership" from businesses to help employees, consumers and clients get through the next six months.
"The question for business is not just about surviving, but what are they doing to take account of these behavioural and mindset shifts that are happening, both amongst their employees and customer base.
"People also need projects that aren't just corona-related. They need business-as-usual projects as things can't just stop if we're going to be here for a while."
This includes opportunities for the retail sector to tap into these shifting priorities.
"If you're Bunnings or in home improvement or entertainment, then that's really interesting as people are more focussed on the home. They might want to spend on projects there instead of clothing, for example," Ms Douglas said.
While the survey revealed that people were tightening their belts as the threat of redundancies looms over the economy, she was hopeful that would lessen as economic uncertainty made way for a new normal.
Almost 40 per cent of Australian respondents said they were concerned about being made redundant as a result of the pandemic, and over half said they were spending less.
Businesses are also getting the tick of approval from most Australians, too. More than half of those surveyed felt that big business and employers were both doing enough to support society through the pandemic.
This was a jump of 8 percentage points on the results of the survey the week before, when 46 per cent of respondents said big business was doing enough compared to 54 per cent in April 2-5 round.
Belief that employers were stepping up sufficiently grew three percentage points, also to 54 per cent.
Ms Douglas said the jump showed big business was now reaping the rewards of making bold decisions early in the crisis.
The pandemic is also an opportunity for the banks to resurrect their battered reputations, she said.
"For such a long time, big business has really been on the nose and this is their reset moment.
"The banks are such a personally relevant sector for all Australians. We all use a bank, we all have a mortgage, and financial concerns are one of the top concerns that people are feeling because of the virus.
"In the weeks to come, that's going to be a very interesting story around [the banks]."
An even higher portion of 67 per cent – up 12 percentage points of the week before – thought the government was offering enough support at this time.
This was much higher than the backing given to governments in other surveyed developed countries, which varied from 44 to 60 per cent.