The “Eye of the Hurricane” Paradox
- Image Renata Apanaviciene (via Shutterstock)
The 'Eye of the Hurricane' Paradox: An Unexpected and Unequal Rise of Well-Being During the Covid-19 Lockdown in France"
Ettore Recchi, Emanuele Ferragina, Emily Helmeid, Stefan Pauly, Mirna Safi,
Nicolas Sauger & Jen Schradie
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, vol. 68, Online 26 May
Panel data covering the French population before and after the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic reveal that self-reported health and well-being have improved during the lockdown in comparison to previous years. We name this counterintuitive phenomenon the “eye of the hurricane” paradox: the large majority of individuals who are not infected by the virus may be seeing their current condition in a more positive light than they normally would. There are, however, divergences across social groups that reflect socioeconomic inequalities. In particular, blue-collar workers deviate from the prevailing trend as their level of self-reported health declines over the lockdown period, Parisian residents experience a sudden drop in their subjective well-being, and people working long hours at home exhibit higher le els of stress during the quarantine.
Changes in lockdown-related stress levels among mainland French residents by respondents’ main site of work.
Reading: The horizontal axis indicates the average number of hours worked per day, the vertical axis the position of respondents on a 0 to 10 scale in answer to the question: “Does the lockdown take a toll on you?”.
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