New research reveals that COVID-19 continues to have a negative impact on the mental health of the U.S. population.
In March 2020, researchers initiated a national study to assess mental health and assets. COVID-19 was declared a national emergency since the number of deaths was increasing. Schools, businesses, and government offices were shuttered as Americans were urged to stay at home.
At the time, they discovered that 27.8% of US individuals in our study had depressive symptoms, such as losing interest in activities or feeling gloomy or hopeless. This figure was more than three times the national pre-pandemic depression estimate of 8.5%.
The fact that depression rates remained high a year after the pandemic, despite encouraging indicators of fewer infections and fatalities, was particularly concerning. People were queuing for COVID-19 vaccine shots in April 2021, experts were researching new COVID-19 treatments, and efforts to reopen society were underway. However, by that moment, 32.8% of respondents in our study had reported symptoms of depression.
Worse, 20.3% of those who reported depression symptoms in April 2020 and April 2021 were included in the higher 2021 number. This study shows that the pandemic's impact on mental health was widespread and long-lasting.
Researchers also assessed which assets - financial, physical, and social - may have an impact on people's mental health throughout the pandemic. We discovered in their first survey that those who entered into the epidemic with minimal assets - particularly financial ones - were more likely to be afflicted by COVID-19-related concerns.
They investigated the association between mental health and asset status in an April 2021 follow-up survey. Financial assets such as personal savings, physical assets such as property ownership, and social assets such as education and marital status were all examined by the researchers. They compared persons who shared comparable characteristics such as marriage, education, and house ownership.
People in homes earning less than US$20,000 a year were 3.5 times more likely than those earning $75,000 to experience chronic depression symptoms, according to the study.
People with $5,000 or more in savings or a bank account also reported less persistent depression, according to the study. Having more assets, on the other hand, did not alleviate the depressing stress of losing a job, having marital troubles, or being in financial trouble during the pandemic.
Despite the fact that the pandemic appears to be lessening, the latest study demonstrates that Americans are still suffering. And they may continue to suffer from negative mental health consequences for a long time.