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Mental Health

Delta Variant is Increasing COVID Anxiety & Uncertainty, Poll Finds

— August 24, 2021

Mental health issues are on the rise as the Delta variant sweeps across the nation.

The pandemic has taken a significant toll on mental health.  Between being socially isolated, wearing masks which make it difficult to share facial expressions and the data on the death toll, people are anxious, depression and, in some cases, even suicidal.  Now that the Delta variant is spreading across the U.S., COVID anxiety is at an all-time high.

A new Associated Press (AP)-NORC poll proves that anxiety in the United States over COVID-19 is at its highest level since winter and this is primarily due to news of the Delta variant and the adoption of new policies in states and school districts.  Hospitals are also filling once again to max capacity.

On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance on the need for urgently increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage and a recommendation for everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission to wear a mask in public indoor places, even if they are fully vaccinated.  This change in guidelines and mandates came following concern over an increase in hospitalizations.

Delta Variant is Increasing COVID Anxiety & Uncertainty, Poll Finds
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

The same poll revealed the majority of Americans favor requiring people to be fully vaccinated to attend public events and venues, including movie theaters or sporting events, as well as travelling on an airplane.  But, of course, this isn’t a perfect science.  There still isn’t a vaccination option for children younger than age twelve.  Does this mean that they should have to remain at home?  Families have little options when it comes to protecting them.  The poll also reveals that Americans believe those working in hospitals, restaurants, stores, and government offices should have to be vaccinated.

The CDC, as a matter of fact, boldly states, “Vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19.  It is important for pregnant people and those who live with or visit them to take steps to protect themselves.”  And the poll’s data shows that “41% are ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ worried about themselves or their family becoming infected with the virus.”  That is up from “21% in June,” and about the same as in January when “43% were extremely or very worried.”

As of August 19, 2021, nearly 200 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.   However, vaccination among pregnant people remains low with only about 1 in every 4 pregnant women reporting having received the vaccination.  The CDC recommends all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant, or who might become pregnant in the future, get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I wouldn’t have said this a couple of years ago, but I’m not as confident as I was in America’s ability to take care of itself,” said David Bowers, a 42-year-old business analyst.  His wife, a public-school teacher, got vaccinated early. But they’re worried about their daughters, ages 7 and 9, attending school.  The family took a trip to New York over the summer and Bowers said, “COVID was pretty much out of mind.  Now it feels like we’re going backward.”


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