International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The pandemic has affected people’s lives and emotions in profound ways, which governments ignore at their peril. Among the often disregarded consequences of the pandemic, especially in developing countries, are its toll on subjective well-being and its implications for health policymaking. This paper uses a battery of surveys with over 1800 observations collected in 2019 and 2020, which inform on many aspects of subjective well-being before and during the pandemic in Cali, Colombia. The results show a dramatic and widespread reduction in life satisfaction in several dimensions of well-being beyond health, and not just among those directly affected by COVID-19. This analysis focuses on differences in well-being by gender and health status, providing information about gender variances and differences in subjective well-being between those who experienced and those who did not experience physical illness (including the COVID-19 infection) during the pandemic. This analysis aims at contributing to the body of research that studies the consequences of the pandemic for life satisfaction and well-being, in the context of a city experiencing profound social unrest during the pandemic.