The feeling of disconnection from communal life became a widespread reality for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the numbers of those agreeing with the statement, “I feel left out of society”, fluctuating as mobility restrictions ebbed and flowed.
A sense of isolation was especially notable among young people vis-à-vis pre-pandemic: they were consistently more likely to feel left out compared to older age groups at given stages of the pandemic. Younger adults experienced some of the largest declines in mental health, social connectedness and life satisfaction in 2020 and 2021, as well as facing job disruption and insecurity. (Other groups showing greater vulnerability include women and the low skilled, which were higher risk factors pre-COVID.)
This new OECD report looks at how recovery policies centred on long-term well-being can help the most vulnerable, and support efforts to rebuild natural, human and social capital after the COVID-19 crisis. These include greater access to lifelong learning, bolstering social capital, strengthening trust and improving long-term economic opportunities.