Young people suffer most under lockdown, survey finds

Grigory Matyunin 07-May-2020
terrified Asian doctor of Coronavirus
© Martinmark |

Younger generations struggle more with the social impacts of the lockdown than their older counterparts, a European survey has found. Young people are more likely to feel upset and lonely as the lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of covid-19, keeps them away from friends and extended family.

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions surveyed 85,000 people all over Europe finding strong deterioration  in the quality of life across all ages and demographic groups.

All Europeans reported a sharp increase in loneliness, with 16 percent feeling lonely most or all of the time. Yet the figure was slightly higher for those under 35, of whom 20 percent felt lonely.

Overall young people reported lower mental health scores and levels of happiness than older generations, although they were also more likely to be positive about the future.

“This probably implies that young people feel they have been more affected by the restrictions than other age groups, with social events being cancelled and their inability to meet their friends and family outside the household,” Eurofound said.

Large percentages reported that they had lost their jobs and were struggling to make ends meet. 40 percent stated that their financial  circumstances had deteriorated since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns which ensued. Only 46 percent were optimistic about their future prospects.

Throughout Europe and the Middle East, coronavirus-related lockdowns are slowly being eased. The United Kingdom, the hardest-hit country in Europe, is due to partially ease its lockdown on Monday. Italy allowed a large section of its workforce to return to their workplaces. Countries in the Middle East are beginning to reopen mosques, subject to the maintenance of social distancing measures. Russia has extended its lockdown to the end of the month.