Coronavirus: Coronavirus pandemic influences all aspects of well-being, says OECD

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It has also crept into every aspect of people’s well-being, affecting the way people live and work, said a study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published on Thursday.

The organization considers the consequences of the pandemic on well-being from different aspects: financial resources (salary and assets), employment, health, knowledge and skills, the environment, subjective well-being, security, the balance between private and professional life, social ties and citizen involvement.

Between March 2020 and May 2021, the virus caused a 16% increase in the average number of deaths in 33 OECD countries compared to the same period in the previous four years. The number of depressions and anxiety attacks has also increased, with citizens often feeling more isolated and out of touch with society.

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While public aid made it possible in 2020 to maintain the average income per household and slow down job losses, 14% of workers in European OECD countries feared they would find themselves unemployed within three months. In addition, almost a third of respondents from 25 OECD countries already pointed to financial difficulties.

The experiences of those surveyed during the pandemic differ greatly depending on the age, gender and origin of the people, but also on the type of profession exercised, salary and skills. The crisis has accentuated already existing social, economic and environmental disparities.

Workers from ethnic minorities are therefore more at risk of losing their jobs, while the death rate for some minorities is twice as high as for other groups. Mental health, social well-being and general life satisfaction indicators have also declined significantly among young adults. They are also more severely affected by the insecurity that reigns in the labor market.

This report is the first part of the OECD recommendations on well-being. He advises governments, which are now shifting from emergency aid to stimulating recovery, to focus on measures essential to the well-being of their populations. Thus, one of the main objectives must be to strengthen job and financial security, particularly for households made vulnerable by the crisis. Mental and physical health, as well as the problem of child poverty must also be priorities.

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