The impact of coronavirus on Dutch society has been significant so far, but people are generally no less happy with their lives than before the pandemic hit, the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP said on Thursday.
In July, respondents to the SCP’s latest annual survey of the nation’s well-being, gave their lives a score of 7.3 out of 10, unchanged from 2019 and only marginally down on 2018, the agency said.
One 70-year-old woman told the researchers she was happy because of ‘the peace, less rat race, the cleaner air, less air traffic, the feeling that we are all united, on a global scale, because of the virus.’
People do have worries, the SCP said, but they are mainly concerned about other people, and jobs and the economy in the future. And many people have not yet noticed the impact of coronavirus on their health or their finances, researcher Josje de Ridder told NOS Radio.
Nevertheless, the number of lonely elderly people has doubled and new problems are piling up on top of old ones, the SCP said.
Youngsters, people with low skills, people from ethnic minorities and people with physical and mental disabilities have all become more concerned about their jobs, and this, the SCP says, is only likely to worsen when unemployment picks up. The agency does note that the low skilled and ethnic minorities are under-represented in the survey panel.
Nevertheless, in order to offset this, the government needs to take a broad approach to maintaining both prosperity and well-being, the researchers say.
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