Lichfield women are being harmed by the COVID-19 situation

Survey finds that Lichfield women are being harmed by the COVID-19 situation.

Eighty five percent of women who responded to an online survey of Labour women in Lichfield constituency feel that they are being harmed by the COVID-19 situation.
Dr Kim Rochelle, Women’s Officer for Lichfield Constituency Labour Party and a chartered psychologist, undertook the survey and now wants to widen its reach.

Dr Rochelle said:
“Although statistics show that men are more likely to suffer severe effects than women if they contract COVID-19, research suggests that women bear more of the daily burden of lockdown.

I created the survey to explore this idea and around 40 Labour Party women took part anonymously. I found nine recurring themes within their written responses, which fell within the areas of psychological, physical, economic or environmental harm.

These are aspects of social harm, which is the unintentional but often preventable outcome of decisions taken by government or society and the way we organise society in terms of inequality, social relationships and so on”.

Loneliness/isolation was the most frequently mentioned psychological harm, followed by fear/anxiety and mental wellbeing. Themes of physical harm ranged from personal health worries to concerns over cancelled or remote medical treatment. Economic harm included recent job loss and delays in receiving Government grants or benefits.
Almost one fifth of the women who responded said that they were adversely affected by the changes to State Pension Age and some were depending on their husband’s pension. Themes of environmental harm mentioned frustration with Government policy and guidelines, problems with local resources and workload or workplace concerns.
Some examples of the responses are below:

  • “Very scared, aged (over 60) i have underlying chronic health conditions but cannot work from home or be furloughed (key worker) so at risk every time I go to work”.
  • “I am worrying about losing my job”.
  • “I am unable to see my 1st grandchild although apparently I could go into my daughter’s house if I was a paid nanny!”.
  • “Struggling to juggle work and childcare / homeschooling”
  • “Awaiting cataract operation that’s now been deferred”.
  • “Having to stay in getting fed up and lonely”.
  • “Marginally surviving”

Dr Rochelle said she is now hoping to broaden the reach of her survey. She added:
“Women are coping, holding things together and doing an amazing job but based upon these results, I’m widening the survey via women’s social networks. I would also very much welcome responses from local women about their experiences during lockdown.”
If you can identify with any of the above issues or others and would like to take part please email womeninlichfield@gmail.com. A list of free advice and support services is also available via the same email address.