Pandemic hasn't affected NL residents well-being yet: Planning office
The impact of the coronavirus crisis on the Netherlands was massive, but the pandemic hasn't had much effect on Netherlands' residents satisfaction with their lives, according to social and cultural planning office SCP's annual report on the social state of the Netherlands. People on average give their lives a score of 7.9 out of ten, about the same as last year, NOS reports.
But the impact of the pandemic on Dutch well-being will likely increase in the coming months, the SCP said. "New problems pile up on old problems, which can put strain on the resilience of society." Dissatisfaction with one's life will increase in the coming months as unemployment continues to rise and government support becomes more austere, the researchers think. "In addition, we know from the previous economic crisis that some of the consequences for the quality of life occur with some delay."
There are already clear effects visible among the elderly. "We see that many elderly have become more lonely," researcher Josje den Ridder said to NOS. According to her, there are two types of loneliness - social loneliness and emotional loneliness. "Social loneliness has not increased in the crisis," she said. "That is loneliness due to the lack of contacts. Apparently we have all done well by, for example, getting groceries for our neighbors."
But emotional loneliness increased significantly among people over the age of 75. "That is missing a meaningful bold. Think of the elderly in a nursing home where no visitors could come anymore. Family waving in front of the window is not enough for them to make that meaningful connection." The percentage of elderly experiencing this type of loneliness increased from 16 percent to 37 percent. Since measures relaxed and nursing home visits are allowed again, this has improved for some elderly, but by no means for all, Den Ridder said
Another development that is already visible, is that people feel more insecure about their work, especially in sectors that were hit hard by the crisis. This uncertainty mainly occurs among young people, people with lower education, people with an occupational disability, and people whose family came to the Netherlands from a non-Western country.