COVID-19: This is what worries young people the most

covid 2020_

(Luiza Braun, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Alex Thornton, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • 15- to 24-year-olds worry most about the pandemic’s effect on their mental health.
  • Young people in poorer countries are more likely to be concerned about jobs and income.
  • Global survey shows getting sick from the virus is low on the list of concerns.

It’s often said viruses don’t discriminate. But how the COVID-19 pandemic affects you varies greatly depending on many factors – in particular, when you were born. The young may be far less likely to become seriously ill or die, but that doesn’t make them immune from the damaging consequences of this unprecedented disease.

 

Their greatest concerns are the toll the pandemic is taking on their mental health, employment prospects and education, according to a global survey of 15- to 24-year-olds conducted by the OECD. Respondents in 48 countries were asked to identify the three aspects of the crisis they found most challenging, with the results shown in the chart below:

mental health employment disposable income fake news public debt private debt house housing mental health politics well-being young younger international relations cooperation poverty intergeneration solidarity racial discrimination
The biggest concerns among young people.
Image: OECD

What is the World Economic Forum doing about mental health?

One in four people will experience mental illness in their lives, costing the global economy an estimated $6 trillion by 2030.

Mental ill-health is the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people aged 10–24 years, contributing up to 45% of the overall burden of disease in this age-group. Yet globally, young people have the worst access to youth mental health care within the lifespan and across all the stages of illness (particularly during the early stages).

In response, the Forum has launched a global dialogue series to discuss the ideas, tools and architecture in which public and private stakeholders can build an ecosystem for health promotion and disease management on mental health.

One of the current key priorities is to support global efforts toward mental health outcomes – promoting key recommendations toward achieving the global targets on mental health, such as the WHO Knowledge-Action-Portal and the Countdown Global Mental Health

Read more about the work of our Platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, and contact us to get involved.

Predictions of an upcoming mental health crisis have been made since the start of the pandemic, with so many people cut off from their usual support networks just as they experience greater stress and anxiety. Eighty-percent of respondents to a survey of young people in the UK for the mental health charity Young Minds said coronavirus had made their mental health worse. Isolation and loneliness have been exacerbated by school closures and restrictions on socializing during lockdowns. At the same time, overwhelmed health systems have struggled to maintain mental health services.

But while mental health was the primary worry overall, the survey also demonstrates significant differences in the concerns of young people living in OECD countries, which tend to be wealthier, and those in non-OECD countries.

Outside the OECD, employment and disposable income were the leading concerns. Even before the pandemic, young people were three times more likely to be unemployed, with one in five not in education, employment or training (NEET). Those with jobs were more likely to be employed in the gig economy – as of 2016, three in four young workers were in informal employment, without the protections enjoyed by older workers in more secure jobs.

Since the pandemic struck, many of those jobs have been lost – perhaps for good. Younger people in Europe are twice as likely to be in jobs at risk as older workers. Some economists estimate two out of every five jobs lost will never return.

coronavirus, health, COVID19, pandemic

What is the World Economic Forum doing to manage emerging risks from COVID-19?

The first global pandemic in more than 100 years, COVID-19 has spread throughout the world at an unprecedented speed. At the time of writing, 4.5 million cases have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people have died due to the virus.

As countries seek to recover, some of the more long-term economic, business, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are just beginning to become visible.

To help all stakeholders – communities, governments, businesses and individuals understand the emerging risks and follow-on effects generated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, has launched its COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications – a companion for decision-makers, building on the Forum’s annual Global Risks Report.

Companies are invited to join the Forum’s work to help manage the identified emerging risks of COVID-19 across industries to shape a better future. Read the full COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications report here, and our impact story with further information.

A hostile job market, combined with the disruptions to education that have impacted more than 1 billion students, could cause long-term damage to the prospects of the young. The World Bank has warned that the pandemic could cost this generation $10 trillion in lost income over their lifetimes without determined and coordinated action from governments.

fake news public debt private debt house housing mental health politics well-being young younger international relations cooperation poverty intergeneration solidarity racial discrimination
Longer terms concerns among young people.
Image: OECD

Young people are also worried about the less tangible effects of the pandemic, both on them personally, and on wider society. Within the OECD, concerns over relationships with friends and family were as widespread as fears over jobs or loss of income. The long term impact on international cooperation and solidarity between generations was also a cause for alarm.

However, young people reported being much less concerned about restrictions on their individual freedoms and their own physical health. Concern for the wellbeing of older people was as strong as concern for the young. Far from being selfish, most young people have proved themselves willing to accept lockdowns and social and economic pain to protect the health of those most vulnerable to the virus.

Among many, there is also a determination to use the crisis caused by the pandemic to bring about social and, in particular, environmental change. Generation COVID is facing unprecedented challenges, but it is perhaps uniquely resilient enough to meet them.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Commission Vice-President Rehn exaggerates Eurozone’s growth prospects

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

5 ways to break down the barriers for women to access leadership roles

A Sting Exclusive: “On the road to Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement”, by Ambassador Katakami of the Japanese Mission to the European Union

AI can help us unlock the world’s most complex operating system – the human body

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

Healthcare guidance apps to professional’s continued education?

The world needs a circular economy. Help us make it happen

Victims of terrorism remembered

Banks cannot die but can be fined

The next generation is key for a European renaissance

UN appeals for international support as flood waters rise in wake of second Mozambique cyclone

UN expert calls for international investigation into ‘evident murder’ of Jamal Khashoggi

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

Syrian Constitutional Committee a ‘sign of hope’: UN envoy tells Security Council

Coronavirus: Commission stands ready to continue supporting EU’s agri-food sector

Norway is returning Easter Island artefacts to Chile (Will Britain ever return the marbles to Greece?)

MWC 2016 Live: Mobile ad industry still waiting for “revolution”

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

MWC 2016 Live: Roshan CEO opens up on Afghanistan challenges

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Commission sets moderate greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030

From Russia with love: Brussels and Moscow close to an agreement on Ukraine’s gas supplies

Sudan Prime Minister survives attempted assassination

Monday’s Daily Brief: WFP mulls ‘last resort’ Yemen aid suspension, top peacekeeping awardee announced, abuzz over Bee Day, Ebola threat ‘very high’

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

Why helping cross-border commuters is key to fighting COVID-19

Future EU-UK Partnership: European Commission takes first step to launch negotiations with the United Kingdom

Emotional control and introspectivity in times of pandemic

Why economic growth depends on closing the interview gap

The Khashoggi affair: A global complot staged behind closed doors

THE ROAD TO GANESHA

EU-Turkey relations: EU considers imposing sanctions while Turkey keeps violating Cyprus’ sovereignty

What if Trump wins the November election and Renzi loses the December referendum?

Nicaragua crisis: One year in, more than 60,000 have fled, seeking refuge

Trump after marginalizing G20 attacks Europe and China where it hurts, brandishes currency war

EU-Ukraine Summit: moving forward together in solidarity

MEPs to prioritise environment and climate action in next long-term budget

In Libya, Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ by risk of fresh military confrontation, urges restraint

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

The 5 lessons from New York Climate Week to help us combat deforestation

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

3 ways to use digital identity systems in global supply chains

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

Gender parity can boost economic growth. Here’s how

Technology can help solve the climate crisis – but it will need our help

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”

Cyclone Idai: UNICEF warns of ‘race against time’ to protect children, prevent spread of disease in flood-ravaged Mozambique

EU-US trade war? EU calls for logic while Trump’s administration is a loose cannon in a dangerous lose-lose situation for global prosperity

This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work

We spend half our time at work in meetings – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Is history a new NATO weapons against Russia?

How three US cities are using data to end homelessness

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

The jobs forecast is unsettled. It’s time for a reskilling revolution

The European Parliament fails to really restrict the rating agencies

UPDATED: Thousands flee fighting around Libyan capital as Guterres condemns escalation, urges ‘immediate halt’ to all military operations

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s