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As the number of cases of COVID-10 increase, so does each person’s anxiety. According to Mental Health America, “…we experienced a 19 percent increase in screening for clinical anxiety in the first weeks of February, and a 12 percent increase in the first two weeks of March.” The outbreak of Coronavirus may be stressful for all people because it is unlike anything that has ever happened before.
For the average person, physical effects are just as important as mental effects. One may react differently because of their background, where they live, or what makes them different from others. It is proven that older people and people with chronic disease, children, people helping with the response of COVID-19 or people with mental health experience more stress due to this global pandemic. There are healthy ways to cope with the stress but some may rely on bad ways because it’s “easier”. Positive ways to relieve stress could include meditating, connecting with others over the phone, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and not reading or watching the news. The fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.
Along with the great ways to cope, there are also negative ways that can affect everyone’s mental health, and in some way, everyone is being affected negatively. Fear and worry of one’s own health or others that causes stress, can increase the use of drugs or alcohol, unhealthy eating habits or disrupt a sleeping schedule. The result of an economic downturn harms people’s mental health, and people have even lost jobs. In a recent study by Kaiser Family Foundation “…nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus.” As the pandemic carries on, that percentage is most likely to increase. Prior to this outbreak, nearly 1 in 5 of American adults reported having a mental illness within the last year and stressing over a pandemic has only raised it. People are encouraged to stay focused on what they can control versus what they can’t, specifically for youth and young adults who don’t have as many life experiences. As noticed, the virus COVID-19 has affected mental health in a negative way. A pandemic has various effects on all bodies and it is important that everyone is able to express their feelings to an adult they trust or their doctor.