•  | 

Stressful atmosphere in the U.S.- Virus and racism

coronavirus and racism

The coronavirus pandemic has spread chaos all over the world. And the U.S. is no exception. Recently, a new national survey led by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers University shows that the virus and racism have been taking a toll on the mental health of the people of the U.S.


The report also mentions that the death of George Floyd adds to the stressful atmosphere of America. George Floyd was killed in Minnesota in police custody on May 25. Since he was a black man, there was a rise in protests against racial injustice and violence by the police.


Apart from that, due to the increasing coronavirus pandemic, concerns regarding health, job loss, education, supply, financial stability are the major contributors to the difficult situation.


David Lazer, a professor of Political Science and Computer Information Sciences at Northeastern University said, “Clearly, contemporary events are putting us all under a lot of stress and we wanted to know if it was noticeable by the standards of our survey”. David was also one of the researches of this survey. He also added, “And, boy, does it stick out, we’re all stressed.”


The report also revealed that the number of respondents worrying about getting affected by the virus is 12 times more (for other racial groups) than that of the white people. And, the concerns regarding education, healthcare, and childcare are 12-13 points higher among the non-white residents.


Racism poses another threat (other than COVID-19), according to the survey. It causes moderate to severe mental stress or depression of around 27% of the U.S. residents. The study found that 67% of the U.S. residents had received financial relief from the $22 trillion congressional stimulus package called the CARES Act (a figure that masks striking disparities across social and racial groups). Compared to 57% of African Americans, 55% of Asian Americans, 56% of Hispanic residents, more than 73% of white participants received the financial relief payment.


This research included surveying 18,132 the U.S. residents between May 16 and May 31. It was found that the lives of 42% of people were affected and they were reported to have moderate to severe depressive symptoms. The mental health of the U.S. residents is hence under great stress. We can only pray to come out of this time of peril with stronger minds and braver hearts.


Arpita Priyadarshinee