Young people showed less concern about catching Covid

Young people showed less concern about catching Covid and ignored social distancing rules due to fear of ‘missing out’ on their social lives during lockdown, new study confirms

  • ONS figures showed some students felt they were ‘missing out’ on social life 
  • Underlying assumption among some was they were less at risk to Covid-19 
  • Students were concerned about missing out on the ‘university experience’ 

Many young people were less concerned over the risks of catching coronavirus and did not comply with social mixing guidance, a new study has shown.

Responses gathered by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that some felt that they were ‘missing out’ on their social life because of the pandemic.

Others said that the increased isolation and lack of socialising caused by lockdown restrictions had also had a negative effect on their mental health.

Few mentioned putting any steps in place to safely manage the transition from campus to family home

The ONS said there was an underlying assumption among some participants that they were less at risk to Covid-19 because they were young.

Few respondents knew someone who had had the virus and so concluded it was unlikely they would catch it themselves.

The survey also found that many young people felt that social mixing rules were confusing because of the changes around where and how many people a person could meet.

Students in particular were concerned about missing out on the ‘university experience’ by not being able to go to parties or clubs.

Many said it was harder to comply with guidance around student areas because of the behaviour of others and temptations to be social in a university environment.

Some also thought recovery from the virus would be quick, so were not concerned about catching it by mixing in large groups.

Few mentioned putting any steps in place to safely manage the transition from campus to family home.

Some said that while they had taken steps to limit contact with strangers, they had made personal assessments about the safety of meeting up with friends, the ONS said.

It comes as pubs and restaurants in England have been allowed to reopen outside for groups of six people, following the latest easing of lockdown restrictions on April 12.

The survey also found that many young people said they wanted to do the right thing and do their part for society.

Some expressed a sense of ‘civic duty’, courtesy and responsibility to society to do their bit to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The survey also found that parents with dependent children found life had become more ‘boring’, with limits on social interactions and fewer activity for their youngsters.

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