COVID-19 threatens more than just our physical health

COVID-19 has undoubtedly had a large effect on the world as a whole and has put many people’s lives at risk, both through death and the loss of jobs. Unemployment has been soaring each and every day, as many businesses and people’s livelihoods are shutting down.

With the closure of businesses, many people are losing their jobs and money to help support their families. Although the stimulus bill has been passed in the United States, the money simply just isn’t enough for people all around the United States. According to CNBC, the US Labor Department reported a total of 5.245 million additional weekly jobless claims during the second week of April– many of whom have lifestyles that depend on their jobs and pay to keep shelter and food for their children and families. Unemployment is just one of many major sectors that has been taking a tumble due to the stock market. 

Due to all these people losing their jobs, this allows the state of the economy to speak for itself. The state of the economy as affected by the coronavirus is terrible due to the closure of many businesses and large corporations. Local businesses have taken a huge fall during this time and will only take further falls in terms of the money lost through their sales.

Many “non-essential” businesses have been asked to close to prevent further outbreak of COVID-19. Many of these “non-essential”, as well as “essential” businesses, rely on the consumers for their continued success through their overall revenue over the year, especially small businesses in niche markets. If the coronavirus continues on at the rate it is going, various different businesses will go out of business and major corporations may be on the verge of bankruptcy, through the tremendous loss of sales for part of the year. 

Economical problems are not the only problems that we see arising. There are also many issues such as mental health and racially/profiled attacks that are now seeing a big spike. With the arising issues concerning mental health, many people find themselves very isolated and lonely during these times, not being able to interact with another.

“According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, more than half of Americans — 56% –reported that worry or stress related to the outbreak has led to at least one negative mental health effect.”(Kam) They even claim that this may lead to a “national mental health crisis.” These types of results can be credited to people losing their jobs, healthcare workers concerned about their safety, and people not being able to physically go out or hang with others. Mental health is not only a mental but physical issue since it can affect your overall health, causing you to sleep less, eat less, have cramps, stomach aches, headaches, etc.

From these results, more people have now started to advocate for putting mental health care into primary care and to make it easier to get mental health care. Through all of these hardships, the recommended way to handle this situation is to educate yourself on distress tolerance, positive thinking, and better ways of coping. Along with that, some tips include eating well and getting more sleep, staying connected with others (socially) although you can’t meet face to face, and limit the amount of news and social media you watch as that could cause even more stress.

With all these Americans panicking and being distressed about the economy and their safety, we see some people have taken about their anger in a more negative way. According to Vox “There’s been a surge in harassment towards Asian Americans in recent weeks” with “more than 1,100 physical and verbal attacks against Asian Americans” which “have been documented since late March” (Zhou).

Asian Americans protesting in Massachusetts

With this spike in racially profiled attacks, many Asian Americans have a constant fear that they may end up being assaulted. And although many people blame the Chinese for the onset of the virus, other Asians are still feeling the sting of prejudice. With this happening in more than 46 states, this is not a small problem. Along with this, men, women, and even children are targets of these incidents being verbally attacked, physically attacked, or in a few cases vandalized. With these sorts of cases, many Asian Americans fear for themselves and their families, leading many to prepare for protecting themselves. 

The good news: the more we stick together and combat these societal “side effects” of COVID-19, the sooner things will go to back to normal. It is important to remain, safe, healthy both mentally and physically, and calm. There is no need for violence over this pandemic, so the best thing you can do is encourage, comfort, and support others through this difficult time.