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Weather, mental health, and mobility during the first wave of the COVID‐19 pandemic

Ashley Burdett, Apostolos Davillas () and Ben Etheridge

Health Economics, 2021, vol. 30, issue 9, 2296-2306

Abstract: During the first United Kingdom wave of the COVID‐19 outbreak, the first lockdown was announced on March 23, 2020, with a final easing of the restrictions on July 4, 2020. Among the most important public health costs of lockdown restrictions are the potential adverse effects on mental health and physical activity. Using data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study and Google COVID‐19 Mobility Reports we find evidence of reduced park mobility during the initial period of the first UK lockdown and confirm existing evidence of worsening mental health. Linkage with weather data shows that contrary to popular belief, daily or weekly weather conditions do not exacerbate the mental health consequences of the pandemic, as we found no systematic associations during the first lockdown period; on the other hand, we find systematic links between park mobility and weather over the same period.

Date: 2021
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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:30:y:2021:i:9:p:2296-2306