Coronavirus outbreak: impact on social life



The shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic affects everyone. However, there are big differences in the extent of the harm caused, and the long-term development of the pandemic and associated crises are highly uncertain.

Inequalities have been on the rise, particularly in case of certain vulnerable groups, those who remained all the time at work, but often had low income: health workers, grocery store workers, delivery workers, Amazon factory workers, or street cleaners, among others. Lower income individuals run greater health risks, and many of them are women.

Not all work is suited to transition to teleworking. This is particularly the case for precarious workers. Other factors have also contributed to the increase of social divides across generations and regions. Beside the closure of businesses, school closures have put enormous pressure on families. Aspects of this situation may cause lifelong harm, such in the case of the youngest children who might never recuperate the benefits for their personal development and social integration, school children who miss the opportunity to learn foundational lifelong skills, and those secondary school students who were about to take their exams.

The pandemic has also deeply affected quality of life, including mental wellbeing, trust and employment prospects. Finally, many households have been facing the prospect of falling into poverty due to a drop in their income linked to the coronavirus crisis and their limited resources to cope with the financial shocks.

Concrete measures the EU took to support the economic recovery are: the EU's recovery plan, Next Generation EU, SURE: temporary support for workers, amendments to the EU budget to address urgent issues,re-direction of EU funds to help member states most in need, support to most affected sectors.

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