The Impact of COVID-19 on Well-Being: A Systems Approach

Feitelson, E., Ilmola-Sheppard, L., Rovenskaya, E. ORCID:, Strelkovskii, N. ORCID:, & Rein-Sapir, Y. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 on Well-Being: A Systems Approach. IIASA Working Paper. Laxenburg, Austria: WP-20-019

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In addition to its health and economic implications, COVID-19 has a widespread effect on social relations, stress, livelihood, and on the environment. However, analyses of the effects of COVID-19 tend to focus on the health and economic implications of the pandemic. In recent years well-being is increasingly promoted as a measure to assess the state of countries and citizens, taking into account a broad set of factors such as social relations, the environment, health, and livelihood. Previous work at IIASA has produced a national well-being map, in which the variables that affect both current and future well-being were spelled out, as well as the relations between them. In the current study, we utilize the IIASA national well-being map as a basis for analyzing the effects of COVID-19 on social well-being, focusing on Israel as a case study. Thus, while the indicators used are based on the OECD well-being indicators, they are contextualized to account for both the setting and for the focus on social well-being of current generations (those that are most likely to be affected by COVID-19). However, the approach we suggest can be useful for other cases, and the results may shed light on the COVID-19 effects elsewhere.
To this end, we first identify the direct effects of COVID-19 and the measures undertaken to mitigate the immediate health effects on the variables included in the social well-being map, a modified version of the original national well-being map. These served to identify both the primary and secondary effects of COVID-19. By relating these primary and secondary effects on the variables that affect social well-being, we can identify how COVID-19 affects current social well-being, differentiating these effects by timing. Then we show that there are synergic effects that will lead to long-term implications, also after the pandemic is brought under control.
COVID-19 does not affect all population groups equally. We find that the effects of COVID-19 on employment serve as the stratifying variable that differentiates the effects. Hence, we analyzed the well-being effects of COVID-19 on different groups based on the effects the pandemic has had on employment. This analysis shows that while the well-being of all groups is affected, they are particularly wide and strenuous for those who lose their jobs or businesses. Therefore, job retention and mitigation of the job insecurity effects of COVID-19 are found to be of critical importance, more than income maintenance. These variables are also essential for the maintenance of trust in government, as such trust is crucial when the next wave of the pandemic erupts. However, additional measures that may mitigate the effects on other well-being indicators are also called for. Thus, it is advisable to formulate policy packages that will address the multi-dimensional effects on well-being.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2020 09:59
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:33

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