Stress & COVID-19

Stress abounds from COVID-19. Many factors contribute. The possibility of getting it, actually contracting it, and the sickening and loss of loved ones are major factors. Also making large contributions are the disruption of social ties, economic instability, and sudden changes in daily routines.

Studies confirm increases in emotional distress. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 5,470 adults earlier this year. There were three times as much anxiety and four times as much depression as endorsed in their 2019 survey. In this same CDC survey, 62.9% of adults 18 to 24 years old said they had anxiety or depression. One fourth of them reported more use of alcohol and drugs, and as many admitted considering suicide within the last 30 days. Researchers had predicted that the more COVID susceptible older age groups would have more distress. However, these young adults might have been particularly upset about the interference with their expected rites of passage, such as senior years and graduations. For all ages, increased attention to media coverage magnified their anxiety.

The researchers made several suggestions to lessen stress: reduce exposure to media, keep up with social contacts with COVID-safe methods, and healthy habits. Another suggestion was journaling to process the impacts of COVID-19. To add another coping mechanism, I would recommend getting a vaccination ASAP.


Wallis, C. (2020). The mental toll of COVID-19. Scientific American. 323(6), p. 25.


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