It's safe to say that no one's life has truly been the same since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Just considering the everyday factor of having limited contact with others, it's easy to see how the pandemic has affected people's lives.
However, according to a new poll done by MTV and the Associated Press NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Gen Z-ers have been more impacted by many pandemic-related stressors than their Millennial and Gen X counterparts.
When it came to romance during the pandemic, only 32% of Millennials and 33% of Gen X-ers said it was made more difficult. For Gen Z participants, this number was at 40%.
Similarly, 45% of polled Gen Z-ers said the pandemic negatively affected their friendships, while the same was true for Millennial and Gen X participants at rates of only 41% and 39%, respectively.
Around 49% of Gen Z participants also cited mental health maintenance as a casualty of the pandemic, though older generations maintained similar rates—47% of Millennials and 48% of Gen X-ers.
Dr. Cora Breuner, a Seattle Children's Hospital pediatrician, shared her thoughts on the findings and touched on what could be causing the pandemic's heavier impact on Gen Z-ers.
"It's this perfect storm where you have isolated learning, decreased social interaction with peers, and parents who also are struggling with similar issues," Breuner said.
Ivy Enyenhi, a 16-year-old high school student, also gave testimony on the subject.
"I'm a very social person, and so not having people around was probably what made it the hardest," Enyenihi said. "It just made normal things hard to do. And it definitely made me depressed."
"The best I can describe it is tragic. It has affected every aspect of my life, from relationships with friends and peers to the way I get groceries. Just everything," Boggs said.
Vilmaris González, a youth program manager, somberly summed up the matter.
"I'm sure we won't understand the gravity of those impacts for years to come," González said. "This is going to mark their generation forever."