Annoyance from community and neighborhood noise during the COVID-19 lockdown in Serbia: a pilot study



We present a pilot study on noise perception and annoyance related to community and neighborhood noise sources during the COVID-19 lockdown in Serbia, enforced from March 15 to May 6, 2020. The online anonymous survey was conducted using social network platforms. Respondents from all over the country, aged 15 to 75 years took part in the study. All participants worked or studied from their homes during the investigated period. Overall, during the lockdown, participants perceived less noise from the major community sources, such as road traffic, air traffic, and construction works on the streets; at the same time, they perceived more noise from their neighbors, such as noise from electrical appliances and elevators inside the buildings, as well as noise from humans (music, voices, steps) and animals. In addition, respondents more often perceived “new” community sounds, such as birds, church bells, and emergency vehicles. They found the sirens of emergency vehicles and noise from their neighbors most annoying at that time. Many participants changed their behavior and attitudes toward noise during the lockdown. Every sixth participant complained about neighborhood noise. This study points to the need for the improvement of the acoustic environment at home in the future.