Brussels: People under 35 have become sadder and lonelier than older adults due to lockdown according to a European survey. It also said that the strain of being separated from friends and family was adversely affecting the young.
Results of survey
The survey was conducted by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. It talked to 85,000 people living across Europe. The survey also found a sharp deterioration in quality of life among all ages.
People have been confined to their homes by the coronavirus outbreak. In such a situation, 16 per cent said they were lonely ‘all or most of the time’. This was a rise of 10 per cent as before lockdown only six per cent described themselves as lonely.
The foundation’s report noted that the effect was much sharper among those under 35 years of age. Twenty per cent of such people described themselves as lonely.
“This probably implies that young people feel they have been more affected by the restrictions than other age groups. With social events cancelled and their inability to meet their friends and family have affected them,” Eurofound said.
Levels of optimism
Younger adults also reported lower levels of overall happiness and satisfaction, and lower mental health scores than older peers. However, they were more optimistic about the future.
The report found differences across countries, which may reflect how long they have been in lockdown or how severe the coronavirus crisis has been. Greeks and Bulgarians reported the lowest level of life satisfaction. Loneliness was most common among the French.
Just 46 per cent of citizens were optimistic about their own future Optimism was below average in countries hardest-hit by the COVID-19 virus, including France, Italy, Belgium and Spain.
A quarter of respondents said they had lost their job either temporarily or permanently, with young men most affected. Half said they had seen a reduction in their working hours.
Almost 40 per cent described their financial situation as worse than before the pandemic. There were large numbers who indicated that their households could not make ends meet. More than half of those interviewed reported that they would not be able to maintain their standard of living. This is because they had lost their jobs.