Connecting the dots: Interconnectedness of impact areas
The results indicate that, where there has been research, almost all findings have been linked to worse mental health during the pandemic. Overall, remote education was seen as a negative experience. The ramification of school closures on future aspirations, in particular early school leaving, highlights the importance of prioritising education during future pandemics based on the situation within the country. Gender and other disparities have made marginalised adolescents vulnerable to the economic ramifications of containment measures.
“The fact that so many outcomes pointed towards mental health really stuck out to me, especially when looking through the (gender) disparity lens. Married girls were saying that even before Covid happened, their social spheres were constrained because once they are married, they are restricted by what their husband or parents tell them. During Covid they were stuck at home and experienced violence because their husband or parents didn’t have jobs or were at home because of lockdowns. They were not able to go out, were not able to meet their peers in their school or social circle so their “usual” coping mechanisms were not available to them. This led them to feel isolated, which also led to anxiety and depression. So, we saw a clear interconnection between social relationships, individual mental health and violence.”