The study of more than 6,500 people found that several factors may have made people’s stress worse, the researchers reported in the journal Science Advances.
The biggest risk for depression symptoms was having a mental health diagnosis before the pandemic, they found.
Symptoms of stress and depression were also associated more with personal exposure than with public outreach, suggesting that “concerns about contracting the disease outweighed concerns about pandemic-related disruptions in daily life,”
Employment also had a big impact, with those who lost their jobs suffering the most and those who kept their jobs and those who felt like essential workers at a lower risk of emotional symptoms, even if they were at greater risk. of contracting the virus, the researchers said.
Another significant factor in pandemic-related stress, they found, is the frequency with which participants were exposed to conflicting information from the media.
People were immersed in the news an average of seven hours a day, they found. Acute stress has increased over time, surveys have shown.
Consistent, accurate and reliable news and social media reports can be one of the best ways to manage stress, they suggested.
The virus continues to fuel the records
Experts say a complete return to normal is still a long way off and some states are still setting records.
Utah had a record 1,117 cases on Friday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert said Saturday, when he issued an executive order extending the state’s state of emergency.
The order was to expire on September 19 and will remain in effect until October 20. The order allows alcohol licensees to keep their licenses if they close for a period of time and suspends certain requirements for using telemedicine, as well as requirements that probation hearings be held in person.
The Wisconsin Department of Health also reported a record number of new cases on Friday – 2,533. Another record day followed.
The department asked the public to stay home, stand two meters from others, wash their hands and wear masks to protect the community.
The virus hits some communities the hardest
Communities of color have already been hit much harder by the pandemic in the United States.
“American Indians, Alaskan natives and African Americans have been hospitalized at rates 3.5 times that of whites,” US surgeon general Dr. Jerome Adams said Thursday.
“Hospitalization rates are three times higher for Hispanics than for whites,” he added.
The pandemic, Adams said, has both exploited and exacerbated the health inequalities that exist across the country and has also highlighted structural conditions that contribute to those inequalities.
“Social distancing and teleworking are key to preventing the spread of the coronavirus, yet only one in five African Americans and one in six Hispanic Americans have a job that allows them to work from home,” Adams said.
People of color are also more likely to live in “densely populated urban areas” and in multigenerational homes, he said, and take public transportation. “Combined, these and other factors create a greater risk of spreading a highly contagious disease like Covid-19,” he added.
Infections haunt college sports
Florida State University head football coach Mike Norvell announced on Saturday that he tested positive for Covid-19. Assistant Head Coach Chris Thomsen will take over Norvell’s duties as he recovers.
“This is a shame, but luckily the coach feels good,” said David Coburn, director of athletics at FSU. “We are proceeding with our Covid protocols as we would any other case. The coach is isolated and the university staff are handling contact tracing as they normally do. We will continue to test staff and student-athletes as we have been.”
Several dozen Michigan State University student-athletes tested positive, the school announced on Friday. Out of 376 athletes tested between 7 September and 14 September, 45 tested positive. One of the 24 staff members tested positive, the school said.
The AAP’s updated guide for children and adolescents who play sports has made it clear that they should not show symptoms of Covid-19 for 14 days and obtain clearance from a primary care physician before returning to practice and competitions.
“Parents, children and coaches need to make safety protocols a priority,” said Dr. Susannah Briskin, one of the guide’s authors.