"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

The desire to 'move on' is natural – but women's pandemic experiences can’t be dismissed as 'lockdown amnesia'.

The COVID-19 pandemic was – and continues to be – extremely disruptive and stressful for people, communities and countries. Yet many seem desperate to close the chapter entirely, almost as if it never happened.

This desire Forget it and move on – labeled “Lockdown amnesia“Understandable on one level – by some. But there's also the chance of missing the chance to learn from what happened.

And while various government inquiries and royal commissions have been arrange to look at the broader government response (including in New Zealand), understanding the experiences of abnormal people is just as essential.

As researchers excited about women and gender roles, we desired to capture a few of this. For the past three years, our research has focused on what happened to on a regular basis women during this era of uncertainty and disruption – and what lessons will be learned.

Epidemic amnesia

Individual memory can turn into fuzzy over time. But it will probably even be affected by broader narratives (within the media or government response) that overwrite our own memories of the pandemic.

“Political Calls”Live with the virus“, And Media hesitation Publishing stories related to COVID, due to perceived audience fatigue, may create a collective sense of need to “move on.” Looking back will be seen as objectionable, and even offensive.

In fact, misinformation and disinformation have been used, In words Deborah Lupton, a number one epidemiological social scientist, “for challenging the science and creating dissent against efforts to combat it.” [such] crisis”

But as a memory scholar Posted by Sidney Goggins.Such “public forgetfulness leads to conflicting effects on policy and social welfare”.

A gender epidemic

Responding to the rapidly changing social, cultural, and economic impacts of the pandemic, feminists have particularly Physical and emotional harm On women around the globe

It includes Social isolation and lonelinessIncreased Domestic and emotional laborto extend Domestic and gender-based violence, Job loss and financial insecurity. There are black, indigenous, minority and migrant women. felt these effects Especially deep.

gave Similar trends Seen in Aotearoa New Zealand. And while some countries have adopted pandemic recovery strategies that recognize these gender differences, New Zealand has not.

Sexual abuse of female leaders – former prime minister Jacinda Ardern and scientists Siouxsieville, for instance – is well documented. But little attention has been paid to the experiences of abnormal women, their struggles and techniques for caring for themselves and others.

Isolation and Isolation: Women experienced deprivation of meaningful social connections.
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Everyday Women's Experiences

Our study included 110 women in Aotearoa New Zealand. We set out to know how they adapted their each day practices – work, leisure, exercise, play – to take care of or restore social connections and a way of community.

Despite many differences among the many women in our sample, there have been also common experiences. We referred to the disruption within the patterns, rhythms and routines of their livesGenital arrhythmia

Women responded to psychosocial and physical challenges, similar to sleep disturbances or weight changes, by developing countermeasures—taking on hobbies, exercising, changing diets.

The pandemic also prompted many individuals to reflect on how their pre-pandemic routines and rhythms had caused a wide range of “alienations”: their very own health and well-being, meaningful social connections, Ethical and sustainable work practices and happiness.

The disruption of the pandemic has made many individuals reevaluate the importance of labor of their lives. As one reflects:

COVID-19 has forced me to reevaluate what's most significant. Is it being profitable? Actually, no, in no way.

Others were asked to query and challenge gendered demands of girls to “do everything” and “be everywhere” for everybody:

I feel as women, because we're so good at multitasking, we put a lot on our plates. I feel we just have to learn to say no, because we should not superhuman. And finally, all this responsibility is weighing us down.

Our research also make clear how the pandemic affected relationships with women. Familiar places and places.. Getting out of the home for a walk, run or bike ride became essential each day routines that proved to be extremely useful for most girls's mental health.

Some got here Appreciate physical activity For the final joys of movement and reference to people and places, not only to attain specific goals like fitness or weight reduction.

The woman is walking on the beach
Exercise became a way of general enjoyment relatively than a goal-oriented pursuit.
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Special challenges for young women

As a part of our overall plan, we also 45 focused on young women. (16 to 25 years old). It highlighted the importance of recognizing how gender, ethnicity and socio-economic conditions intersect.

By listening to their words Epidemic Storieswe saw that young women played a vital role in supporting their families and communities.

In particular, Maori, Pacific and others from diverse ethnic or immigrant backgrounds took on increased responsibilities at home, including childcare, cleansing, cooking and shopping. While many did so willingly, these additional burdens harmed their education, mental health, and well-being.

For many young women, the pandemic was a fundamental disruption to their each day lives and routines during a vital stage of identity development. They missed essential milestones and events, and essential stages of education and social development.

Many persons are still grieving a few of these losses. And some struggle to rebuild social connections, motivation and ambition.

For example, some described being enthusiastic and aspiring athletes before the pandemic. But social anxiety and body image issues left over from the lockdown have been hard to shake, and have seen. Struggle to return For sport

The hidden work of migrant women

We also looked deeply into the experiences of 12 Middle-class migrant womenand the way prolonged border closures created real anxieties about “not being there” for families living abroad.

As one nurse working on the frontline of COVID care in NZ explained:

About a 12 months ago, the cases of COVID in my country were increasing so rapidly. My family was not thoroughly and I used to be depending on social media. […] Trying to achieve them. I used to be really scared at the moment, not with the ability to be together with your family after they really needed you.

Some of the ladies in our sample also experienced Rising anti-immigrant sentiment Which further affected their health and well-being – and their feelings of belonging. As one said:

I actually have turn into extremely sensitive. I cry over the smallest things. My doctor said “go and get some fresh air, it's good for you”. […] I went out for a walk, and someone yelled at me, yelled at me. I feared for my life. How are you able to expect good from me when nobody within the society accepts you?

This arm of research indicates an actual need. Investing in policies and supporting strategies Especially for immigrant women and their communities in any future global health emergency.

Communities of care

An essential feature of our study was the highly creative ways of girls.Communities of care“During the pandemic. Even after they themselves were struggling, they reached out to family and friends, and particularly other women.

The majority of our participants were encouraged to think in another way about their very own health and well-being, and what is essential of their lives (now and in the longer term).

Throughout the pandemic, women worked quietly behind the scenes, of their families, communities and workplaces, to support the health and well-being of themselves and others. This hidden labor isn't acknowledged or celebrated.

Many people still suffer from economic hardship, violence and exhaustion. And less tangible feelings of despair remain in a society that has “moved on” so quickly from the pandemic.

Acknowledging and coping with epidemiology – personal and collective – is a vital first step in documenting, learning from, and using these experiences. Better prepare for future events.. Next time, we want to be sure that the assistance we want is offered to those most in need.