The significance of wellbeing has been brought into sharp focus by the Covid-19 pandemic prompting the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society to kickstart a monthly series of webinars on this topic.
Titled l-Erbgħa fl-Erbgħa, the first Wellbeing Webinar starts tomorrow, May 27, at 4pm with a debate on a research study led by economist Marie Briguglio, who found people’s happiness was down by a third during the first weeks of the outbreak, relative to pre-Covid times.
Dr Briguglio said: “Flattening the epidemic curve need not result in flatter happiness and life satisfaction curves. Our findings may help inform the kind of intervention needed to juggle the demands of maintaining wellbeing, while managing the health effects of the pandemic.”
Conducted together with economists Mark Caruana and Nathaniel Debono, a survey was carried out among 1,800 participants and found that worry about the outbreak and direct exposure to its effects were significantly associated with declining mental health, suppressed happiness and life satisfaction. Considerable changes to lifestyle were also observed, which in turn impacted wellbeing.
During the webinar, the team of economists will also discuss how intervention can help manage societal wellbeing in a manner that is complementary to efforts containing the contagion and shoring up economic activity.
Dr Briguglio added: “Beyond this study, we need to start measuring economic performance with metrics that really speak to quality of life and not just focus on GDP.”
This is something MFWS chair Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca hopes the webinars, which will be held on the last Wednesday of every month, will achieve.
“Wellbeing is more than just our health; it encompasses multidimensional aspects we need to address to ensure a good quality of life, such as the environment, income and education, among others. This virus has highlighted the importance of building a more resilient community and empower society to face the new normal.”
Tomorrow’s Zoom webinar will be moderated by lecturer Charmaine Bonello and streamed live on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/MFWSmalta. To register send an email to [email protected]