Covid-19: Comparing household well-being in first wave vs. third wave

I like to think my family has learned a lot with Covid-19 lockdowns over the past year. As the third-wave lockdown takes effect, how will we cope?

This journal chronicles how my family is coping with the third-wave Covid-19 lockdown, a three-week period announced in Rome, Italy beginning on March 15 and lasting until April 6, 2021.

I define our ability to cope with lockdown pressures by monitoring changes to our household well-being. I have many metrics to choose from, some are leading others are lagging but I focus in on three leading metrics of our household well-being that include:

  • Table time - As we prepare to breakfast, lunch and dinner together as a family in-between distance learning and remote working, are we dedicating a good amount of time to these family gatherings?

  • Screen time - In the first lockdown back in 2020, our daughters went from never having played mobile games prior to the pandemic, to filling their lockdown days with hours of “educational” mobile games before my wife and I decided to restrict their screen time a few months into the pandemic.

  • Exercise time - Also back in the 2020 lockdown, my wife and I had instituted a daily ritual called “Power Hour”. The entire family would gather for at least 60 minutes to move our bodies, dance, stretch, and perform other exercises in order to stay active during the relatively sedentary lockdown period.

Towards the end of this third lockdown period, I will compare our household well-being with the same period as last year’s first lockdown. Tune in and check back for updates!

[Update: March 30, 2021]

Put it in the books! Lockdown #3 is over. Figure 1 reports on the three household well-being indicators I was tracking throughout this lockdown and compares them to values attained during the first Covid-19 lockdown back in March 2020.

Note that screen time here refers to entertainment related screen time, and not screen time related to distance learning and remote working.

In summary, during this third lockdown, we spent less time at the screen, more time outdoors and about the same time at the table.

Did these changes help improve our overall household well-being? Figure 2 provides the answer, comparing our household well-being during the first three weeks of lockdown #1 and the first three weeks of lockdown #3.