Between March of last year and May of this year, the Covid-19 epidemic caused a 16% spike in the average number of fatalities in 33 OECD nations, with the crisis having a severe effect on all aspects of people’s well-being.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, rising levels of despair or anxiety, a growing sense of loneliness, and feelings of detachment from society grew increasingly widespread throughout the same time (OECD).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not only had devastating effects on physical health and mortality, but has touched every aspect of people’s well-being, with far-reaching implications for how we live and work,” the Paris-based organization stated in its latest study COVID-19 and well-being: life in the pandemic.
The report found that experiences with the pandemic varied greatly depending on age, gender, and ethnicity in the OECD area, which includes 38 countries including the eurozone, the United States, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom, as well as the type of job people have, their pay, and their skills. The crisis also exacerbated pre-existing social, economic, and environmental issues.
While government assistance and employment retention programs provided some protection for employees by helping to maintain average family income levels in 2020 and stop the flood of job losses as average hours worked decreased rapidly, they did not address all problems.
14 percent of employees in 19 European OECD nations said it was “probable” they would lose their job within three months, while nearly one-third of people in 25 OECD countries experienced financial troubles.
During the pandemic, workers from ethnic minorities were also more likely to lose their employment.
Last year, practically all demographic groups’ mental health declined on average, although disparities in mental health by race and ethnicity are also noticeable. Some ethnic minority communities have had Covid-19 mortality rates that are more than double those of other ethnicities.
Meanwhile, younger folks have seen some of the most significant reductions in mental health, social connectivity, and life satisfaction this year and previous, as well as employment disruption and uncertainty.
The paper, which evaluates 11 characteristics listed in the OECD’s well-being framework – including income and wealth, work and job quality – contends that as governments shift from emergency assistance to fostering recovery, they must emphasis on what is most important to people’s well-being.
“A crucial goal must be to strengthen the job and financial stability of households, particularly those most impacted by the crisis – with a focus on the most vulnerable, youth, women, and low-skilled,” the OECD stated.
“Addressing the burden of poor physical and mental health, as well as a cross-government strategy to improving the well-being of the most vulnerable children and teenagers, must be prioritized.”