The coronavirus, despite having turned the economy upside down, is awakening in society very different reactions from those that in its day caused the Great Recession. If the 2008 crisis unleashed unprecedented social anger, in a country with little tolerance for inequality, the pandemic is not forging a new rebellion against either the political system or the market economy. Why?
On the one hand, unlike what happened during the Great Recession, in which citizens blamed some for the crisis (banks) and others for not having known how to react to it (Government), there are no culprits in the pandemic. On the other, the lesson is now learned: this time governments are not letting go of the worst off.
Thus, the majority of citizens believe that on this occasion greater social protection measures have been implemented and, despite the fact that the assessment of the Government of Spain does not reach the approved, there is almost unanimous support for the most emblematic policies and actions : ERTE, the ban on layoffs, the Minimum Living Income and the agreement reached in the EU on the Recovery Fund.
In the eyes of the citizens, social policies are also more necessary than ever.
These are the data that the study carried out by 40dB reveals. on the impact of the coronavirus, an investigation promoted by the Foundation for Progressive European Studies (FEPS) and the Felipe González Foundation with the financial support of the European Parliament.
The survey focuses on the generational effects of the pandemic and sheds light on the consequences suffered by so-called millennials (young people between 24 and 39 years old), a generation forced to experience two crises in a very short time. They are the big losers in terms of employment, money and education: many have had to cut costs on training and are the most affected by job losses and cutbacks.
The study also shows that young people, particularly Generation Z , between 16 and 23 years old, are the ones who say they feel the most discouraged and pessimistic as a result of the situation caused by the COVID. These results reinforce findings from other of our studies: it is young people who have suffered the most from stress, insomnia, anxiety and nerves.
They are also the ones who have started or returned to smoking the most. Perhaps then the lack of rebellion in this crisis is not only due to the fact that there are no culprits or that governments have learned their lesson: it is possible that discouragement, unlike anger or rage, is taking away the desire to protest against a future they see black, even more so than they did in precovid times.