Young people the most lonely in pandemic

(Australian Associated Press)

 

More young people have reported feeling lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic and they are also the most concerned about catching the virus, research suggests.

Social impact company Socialsuite launched a COVID-19 survey earlier in the year which found 41 per cent of people between 18 and 24 reported feeling lonely as a result of the virus lockdowns compared to the 29 per cent average.

The research, released on Wednesday, also found that 67 per cent of the 9421 respondents reported stress ratings of seven or more out of 10 in June.

People were most concerned about a loss of connection with social networks, mental health, and loss of connection with extended family amid the pandemic.

The survey, which was completed by people across the world from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and East Africa found 46 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds were worried their job was at risk as a result of the pandemic compared to 35 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds.

The report suggests young people between 18 and 24 were most worried about catching the virus, while people 55 and over were less optimistic about recovering if they or family members contracted the virus.

Socialsuite co-founder Clara Ong said it was critical for businesses and the government to listen to people’s needs during the pandemic to help combat the effects of loneliness.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented impact on people’s livelihood, sense of freedom, safety, and ultimately their sense of self. This impact is even more pronounced for vulnerable populations,” Dr Ong said in a statement.

“Enabling people to talk about their loneliness, and providing them with the appropriate support structures, can help break the cycle before negative behaviours and psychological patterns set in.”

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