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Americans rank mental health higher than physical health during pandemic

Amid the ongoing discussion of people’s physical health during the pandemic, a Gallup poll found it also is important to consider their mental health.

Majorities in the United States say they can continue following social distancing guidelines for “as long as is necessary” before their physical health suffers (68 percent) or they experience significant financial hardship (54 percent). But fewer, 48 percent, say their mental health will hold out as long. Indeed, more say their mental health is already suffering (15 percent) as a result of COVID-19 social distancing than say the same of their physical (6 percent) or financial health (9 percent).

READ: Depression doesn’t have to be a bad word

Just over one-quarter of Americans (27 percent) say they can follow social distancing guidelines for “a few more weeks” or “a few more months” before their physical health suffers, while 37 percent say the same for both their mental health and their finances.

These findings are based on an online, probability-based Gallup Panel survey conducted April 6-12. The federal government has recommended that social distancing guidelines continue through the end of April, and most states have orders in place until at least then. With some indications that the social distancing measures seem to be slowing the spread of the virus, state and federal leaders are beginning to ponder how to reopen society.

The April 6-12 survey was completed just before seven East Coast governors announced they would band together to devise a plan for how and when to lift restrictions. Three West Coast governors quickly followed suit.

Recent Gallup polling found that Americans are hesitant to return to their normal daily activities. Seven in 10 say that once restrictions are lifted, they will wait to see what happens with the coronavirus before resuming their normal activities, while 20 percent say they will resume them immediately.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

 

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