Monday 19 April 2021

Some people are thriving in the pandemic, research shows

Happy to work at home? Photo: Depositphotos

Although the coronavirus pandemic has impacted enormously on daily lives, in general there has been little impact on how people rate their well-being, and around one in five are actually happier in themselves thanks to the lockdown, the Telegraaf said on Saturday.

The figure comes from VU University professor Meike Bartels, who researches genetics and wellbeing, and who has added the impact of coronavirus to her ongoing project to map the nation’s well-being.

She has found that around 20% of people report feeling better and healthier since the lockdown.

‘People differ enormously,’ Bartels told the paper. ‘Everyone reacts differently to the situation. Of course, some groups have been hit very hard by the pandemic, those who have lost loved ones, or their jobs, or future perspective… but there is also a group who are doing well… and we can learn from them.’

Bartels says she plans to focus more on this group in future research to try and find out what factors have contributed to their increased sense of well-being. It may, for example, be down to being out of the rat race for a time, as well as an end to the fear of missing out, she said.

The pandemic had simplified many ‘busy, complicated’ lives, Bartels told Horizon, the EU research and innovation magazine, last December. ‘Some people realised they probably didn’t live the life they liked, [and then] spent more time at home with their families — so there was some stress relief,’ she said.

Last September, the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP said people are generally no less happy with their lives than before the pandemic hit.

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.

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