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How Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Mental Health Across the US?

At the beginning of the year 2020, the world didn’t realize the changes it would endure- some of them permanent. The COVID-19 pandemic closed businesses, and educational institutions, and caused health concerns across the globe. During isolation, many people remained alone with little contact with the outside world, family, and friends. Here are some of the ways the pandemic affected mental health. 

Lay-offs and financial struggle 

For the companies that were fortunate enough to stay in business, many still had to make hard decisions such as layoffs and pay cuts. This caused many people to struggle to pay their rent, provide for their families, and make ends meet. Financial hardship can be stressful in general, but when it is caused by a rapidly spreading virus, it increases anxiety and even depression. 

Isolation from family and close friends 

Whether you are a social person or not, being separated from your family and friends for weeks and months can be sad and distressing. Many people faced lonely days, nights, and even boredom. The uncertainty of not knowing when the isolation from the pandemic would end caused panic and anxiety among many. 

Being out of office and social settings 

While many people enjoyed remote work if they were fortunate enough to maintain their position, some missed seeing their colleagues in the office and being in a social setting. Joining the morning hustle, getting coffee, and working with others is a large part of people’s daily routine. When that was taken away, it was a difficult adjustment for a lot of people. 

Fear of uncertainty and overall health 

The fear of the virus itself was overwhelming for a lot of people. Many had family members with existing health problems or low immune systems who were considered high-risk. The country had not dealt with this virus prior so many of the symptoms were unexpected and the anticipation of contracting the virus caused severe anxiety for many. The stress of worrying about your own health and the health of your family while feeling helpless in the situation for weeks and months can cause feelings of stress and depression. 

What is the outlook? 

Although some still fear getting the virus and because it is still relatively new, the world has got a much better handle on treating it. Vaccines are now available, and we have been able to collect data and studies within the past few years. The survival rate remains high, however, some report long-term lasting effects. However, we now have home-testing kits rather than waiting days for test appointments and results, and healthcare advice on how to treat the virus if you have it. We will hopefully continue to make strides in the right direction for prevention and treatment plans. 


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