The current COVID-19 pandemic situation in the U.S.A is indeed alarming. As the mortality rate is hitting the stratosphere and there is a lack of proactive attempts from the government to adopt an iron hand, it is not just the financial crisis that’s affecting the average American family. What the situation has surmounted is a possible case of acute mental health breakdown of the States’ extensive populous across all age groups. This is a statistical analysis of the impact of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of American people and how ardently this has emancipated to a level of commonness irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity and other
distinctions. The sample of 3198+ American people has been exposed to questionnaires that would eventually reflect their state of mind and mental soundness. By studying the data and drawing inferences and interpretations, this report will give you an extensive insight into the current psychological state of the American folks.
“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or
unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”
-Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General, World HealthOrganization.
Such has this country been in history that has always set an exemplary figure for the world to follow. Excelling in
the technology of all forms and in all domains, the United States of America stands not as a country but as
a symbol of endless hope and support for billions across the international borders.
It’s funding to those in need and foreign aid to minimize collateral damage during any case of sheer emergency,
has been exonerated across the globe since 1776.
Up until a few months ago, the States has been involved in keeping a sharp eye on the needs of the commoners, setting up financial and industrial benchmarks, and again, leading the world up-front. While all these may seem like a glittering generality on the world fora, the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus, medically termed as COVID-19 by WHO, has changed the scenario as well the generic perception. Ever since the pandemic struck the States, there has been a continuous and endless supply of panic, fear, anxiety, grief, and a sense of instability among the American people.
This is not something outlandish; COVID-19 has created a stir across the countries, instilling a rhetorical and recurring trauma on the mental-well-being of the people, and Americans have been no less than a major part of it.
As the pandemic is sweeping relentlessly, it is inducing concerns among the American population at large, particularly among the elder age groups, the working- class, and youths.
In addition, the idea of being quarantined and being cut off from your beloved ones in tough times is taking a toll on the mental and emotional soundness of the people. The future has never ever been such dark despite the two World Wars, political struggles, regional epidemics, and much more that America and American people have seen.
With a virus so stringent and the economy on the brink of collapse, there is a need to refurbish the sense of identity yet again and this can only be achieved with fraternity among folks, care, trust, and empathy towards everyone. While isolating indoors and social distancing have been the major precautionary tools against this pandemic, it cannot be denied that these also have serious mental-health implications. As an example, a federal agency hotline for people in emotional distress recorded some 1000% increase in April as compared to the same time in the previous year. Another hotline run by the Substance . Abuse and Mental Health Administration registered some 20,000+ people in the last month. It is important to note that the effect on mental health isn’t just confined to a certain age group .
55 million students across the US, due to the shutting down of institutions and educational zones, are facing
stress due to their uncertain future. Almost 57% of American youths receive school and college-based mental health assistance which, now deprived, has started affecting their general lifestyle. When it comes to employment and jobs in the States, COVID-19 has worse effects.
The unemployment ratio has surged to almost 15%, the worst since 1948. If nothing else, COVID-19 has created a nightmare for Americans as many struggles to pay the bills and put food on the table. With almost 30 million people losing their jobs and looking desperately at the plight of their families, the number of suicidal tendencies, mental traumas, depression cases, and all kinds of mental disorders have blown off the roof. The noteworthy aspect is how mental health is so well- interconnected with the global phenomenon, especially for a country like the USA.
A pioneer is many inventions and leading the front, has now a populous of scared, jobless and traumatic men, helpless households, and endless anxious queues in front of medical institutions and groceries to at least afford medication and a meal. This inter-connectivity has paved the way for profound research and many other studies for understanding the everyday routines and changes in lifestyle due to COVID-19 and the mental-health crisis of America.
This article will study all the impacts of this global pandemic on the mental health of American people through a survey. With a series of questionnaire set to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their mental well- being, the analysis will statistically study the responses from all the 2000 people interviewed and recorded for research purposes. Towards the end, the aim will be to extract as many conclusions as possible to finally understand how deeply COVID-19 has affected the mental health of American people.
Objectives of the Study:
This research has been conducted in order to achieve the following objectives:
Change in lifestyle: To study what changes are the American people feeling lately in their lifestyle ever since
the pandemic hit the States.
Identifying Expectations: To understand what are the expectations of the American people in the post- pandemic society.
Personal Preventive Measures: To know what preventive measures are people going to adopt in the coming days in their personal lives and space to ensure complete mental soundness.
Recent Adaptations: To know what recent activities people have followed in order to deal with the pandemic
and keep themselves mentally sound.
This research, for studying the mental impact of COVID-19 on American people, has been conducted 2000 US consumers at a national level. Most of the age group of the respondents were between 18-75 years and this diversification added extra divergent and broad insights into the results. Between, April 17 to April 24, this research was conducted online and the entire span of the online survey lasted for about 10 minutes for each consumer separately.
Statistical and graphical representations have been carried out for the collected data and the responses after arranging them in an array. Along with it, several pie-charts and illustrations along with smart charts have been inculcated in this analytical study of the subject. It should be noted that the sample collected for this study was supplied internally using Elicit proprietary panel Opinio Quest and the entire survey questionnaire was programmed in-house. Using the online survey means, responses are collected and arranged in databases before sampling out and rearrangement of the same. Here is the sample distribution.
Age Group Distribution:
18-24 – 20%
40-54 – 19%
55-75 – 06%
Review of Literature:
Elucidating the psychological and emotional impact of Novel Coronavirus which broke out in 2019 is challenging, pertaining to a large number of cases. While preventive and medical action is the priority right now against COVID-19, emergency psychological crisis interventions for people affected or not affected by COVID-19 are also critical.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression and self-reported stress are common psychological reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, and may even be associated with disturbed sleep (Ravi Philip Rajkumar, April 2020).
Furthermore, widespread outbreaks of infectious diseases along with COVID-19 and deeply associated with psychological distress and mental illness (Bao, 2020) and insomnia were often related to this distress (Xiao, 2020).
In another population-based study, females having symptoms of suggestive COVID-19 and poor health were associated with higher rates of anxiety (Wang, 2020).
In relation to this finding, the wide scope and spread of COVID-19 in the USA leads to a true mental crisis due to heavy loads, mitigating which would require both large- scale psychological crisis intervention and incorporation of mental Health Care Centers in future planning (Asmundsen and Taylor, 2020).
It is also equally important to note the role of anxiety as the dominant emotional response to an outbreak and the use of optimum training and technology to deliver the required assistance (Lima, 2020).
One of the reasons, as the paper further elaborates, why mental health should be a top priority is that it is believed that severe acute respiratory syndrome for COVID-19 may affect the brain or trigger immune responses that have additional adverse effects on the brain function and mental health of the patient.
A research conducted by a team of 25 experts in Lancet Psychiatry revealed that COVID-19 pandemic could have a profound and pervasive impact on the global mental health in the coming times. (Lancet Psychiatry, March 2020).
Data Analysis and Interpretation:
The survey comprised of questions that briefly aimed to understand the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of Americans and how (if) they are dealing with the same.
Americans are feeling anxious due to the entire outbreak of COVID-19 and it is quite apparent that it has an impact on their lives. Most of the Americans feel more anxious than before due to the rising uncertain conditions around and the alarming state of the pandemic in the country.
There also has been substantial responses that seem that Americans are feeling a change in their lifestyle and this is causing sleep cycle disturbances. People are genuinely worried about their family and their future as the economy took a slump in early April. There is a feeling of helplessness and sickness among the people despite many of them not having any inclination towards getting a professional help, even if it’s the need of the hour.
Is the Current Government Doing Enough?
People have got a fusion of dissatisfaction and satisfaction when it comes to the efforts of the American government towards dissipating and proactive response against COVID-19 and safeguarding the interests of the American people. The majority of people are somewhat satisfied with the efforts put forward by the government and the policies and action taken against it.
However, it must be noted that despite the passive response, a strong sense of optimism is being displayed from the above interpretation.
Daily Essential Needs of An American Household
Putting up food on the table has been a real challenge when the bread earner is struggling to meet both ends. With the market and economy working disproportionately causing mass-scale joblessness and firings of working American people, this is a mere display of the factual hardships currently being faced by the people.
As it can be expected, the people who lie in the higher income groups and who continue to earn for their family handsomely, tend to stock up the groceries inside their homes, creating a vacuum for the other income groups. This is causing an unequal distribution of resources in the American market causing a contrasting picture in the society. While one sleeps with a full belly, the other continue to stand in the queues with hopes to have food.
What would people like to change or adapt to post pandemic?
As per the recent comment from WHO, we are going to have to live with the COVID-19 in future and learn to adapt to the circumstances. This a data resonates with the responses of American people. You can see people have accepted this fact that the future isn’t going to be easy. The pandemic has been a lesson for American to incline towards personal hygiene and concentrate to lead a healthy lifestyle, both in physical and mental terms. There are also people who think a professional counsellor or a trained personnel could have them analyze the situation better and thus, assist them in building the perfect coping mechanism in future. Americans have become aware and surely, this is aa positive step forward.
What are people doing to keep social distant
It is important to notice the trend here. From more creative options to lesser ones, American interests have fluctuated substantially when it comes to choosing the perfect hobby for keeping social distancing. Ever since COVID-10 broke out, social distancing has been proclaimed a major toll in combating the pandemic and thereby, people had adapted different means to stay indoors and keep themselves off the hook. Watching movies have been the most effective tool in helping Americans to avoid stress and make a better use of their isolation to keep themselves self-entertained.
Recently, the trend has also collective went towards singing, music and exercising which seems to have a positive impact on the mind of the American people. It has effectively helped soothe a troubled mind and thus restoring the calm and peace. Apart from there, people have been keeping themselves busy with online gaming, reading, meditating (which is quite a useful hobby in these serious times), etc. Of course, there will be instances when people would just take a pill and doze off but the number are quite minimal.
Impact of Covid 19 on the Professional Life of Americans
Now, this data represents a contradictory exhibition of the facts explained formerly. Yes, it is undeniably a fact that the majority of the Americans are holding on strong their regular pay being processed but it is equally important that we focus on the ones below that attribute.
A number of people have been fired, who’s salaries are on hold or have been lay offed along with being decreased. The financial status is an important aspect in the mental well- being for not just the person, but also the family. Lack of a regular pay creates distraught conditions within which leads to depressions, suicidal tendencies, anxieties and much more.
Looking at the people who never worked, it may be either they were unwilling or they were actively applying for available opportunities. Which means, there are number of students and graduates in that attribute. It is a scar on their future to earn and create a podium for their success and achievements.
What might be unquestionably argued is the effect of COVID-19 having an everlasting effect on the minds of American citizens. The sheer intensity with which the pandemic has taken a grip on the States is a matter of serious concern for the people and the world. As the leading nation with foremost medical and technological availabilities and resources, it is indeed an oxymoron to observe the plight of the common American man struggling to achieve a financial and hygienic equilibrium.
If nothing else, COVID-19 has challenged even the basic necessities for many but more than that, it has affected something which is a matter of much serious concern. Yes, millions of dollars are being spend in research and inventing vaccination techniques to curb the vehement effects of the virus but very less concern and steps are being taken to sneak a peek into the mental well-being of the American people.
It is pretty much clear the people are optimistic, both towards a safer future and towards the government efforts to safeguard them till the end. But when the economy decides to take a nap and the markets crash, hopes can often be converted into nightmares in the form of anxieties, depression, ADHD and all other kinds of mental sickness. It is, therefore, equally important for the people and the authorities alike to reconsider the measures and put sincere efforts to ensure peace of mind continues to befriend America. People are doing what they can but not everyone.
The sharp contrast between economies and financial conditions at the present stage is indeed staggering the day to day activities and the hopes of the people. While the poor are trying their best to go out, shop and feed, the ones with privileges continue to enjoy their status and this unequal distribution is indeed a matter of concern. One cannot completely say the people’s efforts are in vain.
In fact, this optimism is something that keeps America going but on the other hand, it cannot be denied that people are worried. More than a physical infection, COVID-19 has induced a sense of insecurity, fear and worry among the people, not just about themselves but also regarding their family, loved ones, their future and America as a whole.
While the poor are trying their best to go out, shop and feed, the ones with privileges continue to enjoy their status and this unequal distribution is indeed a matter of concern. One cannot completely say the people’s efforts are in vain. They are trying their best to isolate themselves and confine in their homes, involve in a variety of activities and stay entertained; people have also learnt that after all this has been lessened substantially, care towards the self and personal hygiene will be on their to-do list.