The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is not particularly beneficial to health, body and mind, to say the least. Even those who are not susceptible to getting infected like children and young adults, are caught up in the whirlwind of unprecedented changes. They might not be the ones whose health is being primarily affected, but the lifestyle change that has occurred is bound to take its toll.
Recent studies show that young adults, in particular, are getting more depressed and anxious as SARS-CoV-2 uproots whatever budding life plans they’d been nursing, whereas studies done by the University of Bristol with 13 to 14-year-olds show a drop in their anxiety levels as compared to what they had been last October.
Researchers from the University of Bristol surveyed 1,000 secondary school children in South West England, and they were quite surprised by the significantly lower rates of anxiety in teenagers, especially considering the global pandemic. The biggest question raised by this survey was about the negative impact of the school environment on the mental health of children being significantly more damaging than a worldwide pandemic.
In the UK recently, there has been talk of reopening schools, as Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical adviser, said that not returning to school will most likely be more harmful to children than the coronavirus. He was quoted saying in an interview with BBC that, “”the chances of children dying from Covid-19 are incredibly small” – but missing lessons “damages children in the long run”.
It was only after this announcement that this survey was conducted by Emily Widnall and Dr Judy Kidger. The lead author of the study Emily Widnall said in an interview with BBC, “With the whole world in the grip of a devastating pandemic, which has thrown everyone’s lives into turmoil, the natural expectation would be to see an increase in anxiety. While we saw anxiety levels rise for a few of our participants, it was a big surprise to discover quite the opposite was the case for many of them.”
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