Mental health in the age of the coronavirus

But it’s also likely that something much darker is going on, especially among the less fortunate. A study by Samantha Brooks of King’s College London finds that quarantine produces a range of bad mental health outcomes, including trauma, confusion and anger.

There’s an invisible current of dread running through the world. It messes with your attention span. I don’t know about you, but I’m mentally exhausted by 5 p.m. every day, and I think part of the cause is the unconscious stress flowing through us.

Many people are alone, consuming media all day. Others are trapped in homes with abusers and dysfunction. Alcohol and drug use is rising. In France, reported cases of domestic violence are up by about a third.

Tyler Norris of the Well Being Trust points to a curve behind the Covid-19 curve. Every one-percentage-point increase in unemployment leads eventually to a 3.5 percent increase in opioid addiction, so the pandemic’s economic effects alone will exacerbate our drug and mental health problems down the road.