Many Americans Anxious Over COVID-19, APA Poll Finds

Many Americans Anxious Over COVID-19, APA Poll Finds
PSYCHIATRIC NEWS, March 26, 2020.

Many Americans are feeling anxious over the risk that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses to their health, the health of their family and friends, their finances, and the long-term impact the virus will have on the economy, according to a national poll released today by APA.

“The stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic can and is having an effect on people’s physical and mental health,” APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D., said in a press statement.

“During this time, it is important to do what we can to maintain self-care and manage the stress. I would suggest this for everyone coping at home as well as those who are still in their workplaces by necessity, especially the health care professionals on the front lines of this pandemic.”

The findings were based on an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,004 U.S. adults aged 18 and older conducted on March 18 and 19.

Several takeaways from the poll include the following:
Nearly half of respondents (48%) are anxious about getting coronavirus, and even more (62%) worry their family members and loved ones will catch coronavirus.
More than half of respondents (57%) are concerned that the coronavirus will have a serious negative impact on their finances, and 68% fear that the coronavirus will have a long-lasting impact on the economy.
More than a third of respondents (36%) reported that coronavirus is having a serious impact on their mental health, and more than half (59%) feel that coronavirus is having a serious impact on their day-to-day lives.
Despite these concerns, only 19% of respondents reported that they are having trouble sleeping, and 12% reported they have been fighting more with a partner or loved ones.
Nearly 40% of respondents said that they believe people are overreacting/being overly cautious about coronavirus, while nearly 40% said that they disagree with this statement.

“The poll highlights both the anxiety caused by the pandemic and the need for clear, consistent communications on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.

“In the disruption COVID-19 is causing, everyone needs to make sure they are taking the time to take care of their own physical and mental health, alongside with their families, friends, and work colleagues. Social isolation can be prevented by taking the time to use social media, letters, or simply the phone to communicate with loved ones and friends, particularly those we haven’t been in touch with over the years as we would have liked. Together, we will get through this.”

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