HK students suffer social anxiety under Covid control measures

More than 60 percent of Hong Kong students feel ‘fear’ of participating in face-to-face social occasions without masks.

Over 1,000 secondary students were surveyed by the Integrated Children and Youth Service Division of Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service. Around 63 percent said they were worried about meeting others without wearing masks when the Covid pandemic ends.

Besides, nearly half of the respondents said they feared social activities more than the epidemic.

Nearly 40 percent of respondents said to feel guilty for joining flocks gathering under the social distancing restrictions, and 22 percent claimed to encounter a decline in their communication abilities with others.

“Teenagers gradually tend to conceal their real expressions behind masks and cannot express their true feelings,” said Chu Ka Yin, a senior manager of the organisation.

“It is of concern that they will be socially withdrawn in the future and have difficulties connecting with the real world,” Chu said.

The survey suggested that more opportunities for group activities should be provided to teenagers, especially under the circumstances of the three-year-lasting social distancing measures in schools and other premises.

With the current social distancing measures, primary and secondary schools only hold half-day-class modes and restricted indoor dining and outdoor activities for students.