The COVID-19 pandemic is compromising the nation's health - in the short and long term. It's widening existing inequalities, with some groups hit harder than others.

As part of our COVID-19 impact inquiry, we spoke to to three people from across the UK to hear about their experiences of the pandemic.

Nathaniel, Bethan and Joe share how COVID-19 and measures to control the virus have affected different aspects of their lives including work, access to health care services and mental health. They also reflect on what they think we can learn from the pandemic, to give everybody the same opportunities for health and wellbeing - now and in the future.

Watch more from NathanielBethan and Joe.

These videos were developed with support from Leaders Unlocked, Grapevine and Black Thrive.

The COVID-19 pandemic is compromising the nation’s health – in the short and long term.

It is widening existing inequalities, with some groups hit harder than others.

As part of our COVID-19 impact inquiry, we spoke with three individual across the UK to hear about their experiences.

Nathaniel: My name is Nathaniel Palmer. I'm born and bred in south London.

Bethan: My name is Bethan Rogers and I live in Llanarmon-yn-Ial, North Wales.

Joe: My name's Joe and I live in Coventry. 

The Health Foundation’s COVID-19 impact inquiry seeks to explore the pandemic’s implications for health and health inequalities across the UK.

Nathaniel: My biggest concern was around health and work, basically, as a member from the black and ethnic minority community, hearing all the news about how it can impact our community really put myself and my family members on edge.

Joe: Leading up to the Prime Minister's initial announcement on 23 March, I was a bit, sort of, petrified and I was worried about the isolation side that would come with being on my own in the house during lockdown. So, I thought that was going to affect my mental health and sort of put me 10, 20 paces back after going 20 paces forward.

Bethan: My biggest concern was probably work, it was really uncertain. I still had insurance to pay, I still had my phone bill to pay, it was still quite worrying – how I was going to be able to pay them on such a small furlough.

Nathaniel: The pandemic has had a massive effect on my mental health because I actually had the coronavirus. I think before then I was just a bit wary and had low levels of anxiety. It just took its toll and it made me realise how real the situation was even more.

Joe: I used to struggle with getting mental health support before even lockdown, That all just stopped and that was the only support I was getting apart from my partner, which put a lot more strain on her. Where I'd normally be able to just phone up my doctors and make appointments, that had all changed.

Nathaniel: The wait for services has increased, the level and quality of care is sometimes difficult to uphold, I guess, and coming from working for services I can appreciate why that is.

Bethan: I got a job as a community support assistant but I haven't done my training yet and I can't actually go out by myself until I do manual handling which is in person. So I think that might be a while.

Nathaniel: So my community work has been very important because it helps me get back to some level of what life was before. Being productive, it gives me purpose, it allows me to connect and socialise with people in my local community.

Bethan: There could be a lot more support for young people. A lot of people who needed help from school weren't able to get it. Just telling everyone exactly where to get support and not just in certain areas. Support for everyone for everything really.

Joe: I really believe in community building now. That's the way forward for the country and I think we've just got to all keep pulling together and helping one another.

The COVID-19 impact inquiry seeks to learn from different experiences of the pandemic to make sure we respond in a way that gives everybody the same opportunities for health and wellbeing. To find out more about the COVID-19 impact inquiry visit: www.health.org.uk/covid-19-impact-inquiry.

This video was developed with support from Leaders Unlocked, Grapevine and Black Thrive.

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