• Factivists

COVID-19: Factivists Research Project

Tragically, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the deaths of almost 500,000 people. Since the introduction of various lockdown schemes across the globe, curfews have been imposed, schools closed, families separated, and unemployment is on the rise.

Total number of COVID-19 cases as of 2/7/2020

It is only natural that the vast number of deaths, combined with concerns surrounding emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing, has taken an overwhelming toll on everyone. Even for those that were left remotely unaffected by the virus, the words “normal” and “routine” have assumed much vaguer definitions.

Factivists decided to survey, and speak to, a range of people, to learn more about their experiences amidst the pandemic. Conversing with healthcare workers, scientists, waitresses and even decontamination workers, we have learnt more about the plight of the most vulnerable, the diverse approaches to school exams, and the adverse effects COVID-19 has had on the mental wellbeing of many.

We collected results from 61 people, mainly students, but many of whom have expressed concerns about their deteriorating mental health. Specifically, heightened levels of stress and anxiety were particularly noticeable, as many lack the motivation to complete school work, while others are missing their loved ones. Only 3 of the 61 surveyed felt that the media “have consistently provided the public with facts”, while 25 believe that they have “usually” been doing so. For 70.5% of those surveyed, testing is reportedly available in their state or country, while 29.5% feel that the authorities have dealt “mostly well” with the disease, although recognised that some errors were inevitable.

We have compiled a list of stories, and have provided a short description for each. Please feel free to browse through those that may resonate with you, or take the time to gain a new perspective.

  • Click here to read more about how students’ lives have been affected by the virus. Many have had exams cancelled, others are concerned that they will lack work experience, and some are lacking the motivation to complete schoolwork.

  • Click here to learn more about the lives of those working through the pandemic. While some have been impressed by their employers’ efforts to maintain a safe working environment, others have been disappointed.

  • Click here to learn more about those whose employment has been affected by COVID-19. Some workers have been put on furlough, others have completely lost their job, and others have made the conscious choice to leave. Many of these stories discuss both the failures and the successes of management teams.

  • Click here to learn about Michaela’s experience: she works in a nursing home, consequently working with the most vulnerable members of society. Employees have been wearing face masks for up to 12 hours at a time, resulting in bruising and breathing difficulties. Michaela discusses the difficulties faced when working with dementia patients, who are often left perplexed and anxious.

  • Click here to read Gavin’s story - he has recently become unemployed, after raising concerns about working conditions for the immunocompromised, such as himself. Despite management initially stating that it was not essential for employees to work in the office, a member of the leadership team stated: “I’m not paying you to just sit at home”, deeming this right a privilege. Gavin has recently witnessed his own father’s battle with the virus, and has criticised the government’s response, deeming it “eugenics through neglect”.

  • Click here to read about Alex’s experience throughout the pandemic. Alex works in a long-term care facility, and expresses concern for patients who have been unable to see their loved ones. In an unprecedented move, the facility has prepared a specialised COVID-19 unit, and an isolation procedure. As is the case with many healthcare facilities, Alex’s workplace has suffered from a lack of protective equipment.

  • Click here to read the unique story of a student who has recently begun work in the decontamination industry. He has exchanged his everyday school clothes for protective gear, wearing a full body suit, face mask, and double gloves. While employees in varying industries have suffered pay cuts, those working alongside Alex receive a bonus, dependent on the size of the job they complete that day.

  • Click here to learn more about Sam’s experience. As a year 13 student, she should have been sitting her A-Levels. Due to the pandemic, she has missed “crucial” Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions, and fears her grade being lowered by harsher teachers. Having lost a family member to the virus, she was unable to attend their funeral, and is also concerned the UK government may be distorting figures regarding infection rates.