Hackney residents suffer worse mental health one year on from Covid, survey says

File photo dated 22/01/21 of government coronavirus warning sign. January 30 2021 marks the first an

A government coronavirus warning sign warns of the dangers of Covid. - Credit: PA

Nearly all people in Hackney surveyed by the Gazette reported abiding to Covid rules, for the most part, but over 60 per cent describe having worse mental health since the pandemic began a year ago. 

Still, despite the increased hardship faced by many, some residents, like Anya Sizer, say the pandemic has also given them a chance to reflect.

She said: "The pandemic has been incredibly tough in many ways, as a full-time carer to an adopted child with a disability, lockdown was especially hard.

"However, it has also given me, like so many others, a chance to reassess what’s important and what I want to be doing."

Anya Sizer.

Anya Sizer says the pandemic has given her time to reflect and pushed her into politics. - Credit: Courtesy of Anya Sizer

After living in the borough for 20 years, Anya says the pandemic helped give her the political will to stand for office and represent more people like herself. 

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The resident explained how she saw opportunities over the last year but also poverty, while volunteering in Hoxton during the pandemic, adding: "It made me realise we need more people to speak out for others when maybe their voice isn’t as strong."

In the survey, the Gazette asked 430 Londoners, 9.3pc of which lived in Hackney, about the impact of the pandemic.

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More than half said priorities had changed considerably over the last year with more than 60pc reporting worse mental health and 76pc doing less physical activity.  

Nearly all Hackney people surveyed said they were sticking to the Covid rules with 49pc reporting a few minor indiscretions and only 2pc flouting them completely. 

While most Hackney people asked had not lost their job as a result of Covid, 32pc had, and, about about a third of residents asked were worried about losing their jobs in the next 12 months. 

About a quarter of respondents were currently unemployed. 

The majority of people surveyed, however, felt safer from Covid due to the vaccination programme with half, likely to visit essential stores set to reopen on April 12. 

Most people surveyed said they would likely visit pubs and restaurants, planned to reopen in May, at similar pre-Covid rates with a significant proportion saying they would go out to these kinds of establishments less. 

Almost 40pc said they would not be going on holiday this year.

Anya will stand in the Hoxton East and Shoreditch by-election as the Labour candidate on May 6. 

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