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Ted has been buoyant since the first day of lockdown. He is retired and lives in a village near Salisbury with his wife. They are financially secure and “continue to enjoy good health and have all we need at home”. He can still garden, cycle and enjoy the countryside. For him, and a fifth of Britons surveyed, it is business as usual.

A collection of lockdown diaries compiled by 50 Britons over three weeks reveals a bleak contrast between those who, like Ted, can afford to cope in the current crisis, and those struggling to feed their families and maintain their physical and mental health.

In a study put together by Britain Thinks, a third of respondents keeping weekly diaries admit they are not coping well. Two fifths have seen their incomes shrink and many are struggling to stay afloat. Mental health is a grave concern with almost half of young people and children in the study reporting a marked rise in anxiety and fear for the future. The gulf in wellbeing between this generation and older, affluent respondents is stark.

One 36-year-old mother from Glasgow has lost her job and the income of her small childcare business. “There is now no routine and I’m going a little crazy,” she writes. “I struggle to buy nutritious food; I don’t know where my next pay is coming from. I am worried no one knows when this will end.”

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source: The Guardian
published: 26 April 2020

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