A New ‘Lockdown Generation’ Is Raising the Risk of Global Upheaval

A New ‘Lockdown Generation’ Is Raising the Risk of Global Upheaval
A youth waits to enter the San Nicolas Tolentino cemetery in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, April 30, 2020 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

While the health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have been primarily endured by elderly populations, there is increasing recognition that young people will disproportionately absorb the economic and social impacts.

One study, conducted in April and released last month by the International Labor Organization, found that the pandemic had caused one in six young people to lose their jobs, as well as a 23 percent average reduction in working hours for those still employed. Within this “lockdown generation,” as the ILO calls them, the situation is especially dire for women, ethnic minorities and migrant workers.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, recently warned that this economic distress is being compounded by a youth mental health crisis. “Early evidence suggests people in their teens and 20s are at greater risk of depression and anxiety” during the pandemic, he said, “while their ability to seek the services they need is reduced.” According to a recent survey conducted by the European Union, respondents across the continent aged 18 to 34 experienced disproportionate declines in life satisfaction and larger increases in loneliness than other age groups. Similar research findings have been reported in China.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.