One-and-a-half-years on from the start of the pandemic, the consequences of coronavirus are continuing to alter life for everybody. But how has Covid-19 impacted young people specifically?
It seems that, while they may have not physically suffered as much from the virus, teenagers’ mental health has been disproportionately affected by its social consequences. A recent study, based in London, found that 30% of young adults have suffered from poor mental health since we first entered lockdown. To put this into perspective, this is around one in three young people: pre-pandemic, this figure was around one in six.
I am 17 years old, and I have definitely felt my mental health decline during this time. The psychological toll of the constraints, not to mention the strain on my education, has been immense. Similarly, in a 2020 study by YoungMinds, one teen said they “alternate between anxiety so bad [they] shake and cry and can’t concentrate on anything and then suffer depression so bad that [they] can’t get out of bed.”
Despite this, some media outlets have painted young people as ‘careless’ and believing they’re ‘invincible’. However, in another new survey, young adults were found to perform 6.3 ‘counter-Covid’ behaviours, compared to 6.12 by over-45s. This goes some way to demonstrate that young people are just as concerned about Covid-19 and its effects as everybody else.
Research makes it clear that my generation has suffered greatly from the social isolation, anxiety, depression, and loss of purpose that Covid-19 has brought. Nonetheless, we continue to support and maintain the restrictions at the same level as the rest of society.
Young people know that lockdowns, restrictions and caution are essential, but it is impossible to deny how detrimental Covid-19 has been on our mental health. It will undoubtedly take much more support to help us regain what has been lost.