HAS COVID-19 CHANGED THE WAY WE LIVE

To say that the novel COVID19 pandemic has changed the world would be an understatement. In less than a year since the virus emerged — and just over 6 months since tracking began in the United States — it’s upended day-to-day lives across the globe. 

The pandemic has changed how we work, leran and interact as social distancing guidelines have led to a more virtual existence, both personally and professionally. 

Mental health challenges

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has triggered a wave of mental health issues. Whether it’s managing addiction, depression , social isolation or just the general stress that’s resulted from COVID-19, we’re all feeling it. 

It seems to especially be hitting younger people. Of those surveyed, 55% reported experiencing mental health issues since the onset of the pandemic, including 74% of respondents in the 18-to-34-year-old age range. 

Pandemic-induced hesitation

While much of the world has come to a stop at times during the pandemic, the need for health care has not. Yet, 38% of respondents said they skipped or delayed preventive health care visits because of the pandemic even though health care providers have gone to great lengths to ensure that keeping those appointments are safe for everyone. 

Women are more likely to skip these appointments than men, 46% to 29%, and as many as 15% of total respondents avoided visits for more serious issues like injury or even chest pain. 

Staying healthy during the pandemic

But there is good news as far as respondents’ health is concerned. From lifestyle changes to better eating habits, people are using this time to get healthier in many areas.

Since the pandemic started, nearly two-thirds of the survey’s participants (62%) say they’ve made a significant lifestyle change, including:

  • More time outdoors or experiencing nature.
  • Improved sleep patterns.
  • Starting or modifying an exercise program.
  • Other healthy dietary changes.

Eating and exercise are new areas of focus for many respondents. One-third of the participants (34%) say they’re eating more healthy food and most (a whopping 87%) say they’ll keep the habit up. 

Better health awareness

There’s more to healthy living than just exercising and food, though. And 68% of respondents said that the pandemic has them paying more attention to certain risk factors for other health issues. That number is even higher (77%) for those younger respondents, 18-to-34 years old.

Family and the pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen both benefits and drawbacks of being cooped up with family for long periods of time. And there’s certainly been added stress for families who have had to deal with remote learning situations for school-aged children.

Some, though, reported positive experiences with their families in such close quarters. Overall, 34% of those who responded said that they feel closer to their family and, in households with kids, 52% reported feeling like they’ve forged new connections. Additionally, 78% agreed that quarantine made them value their relationships. 

Outlook

Staying vigilant

Of those surveyed, 78% say they won’t spend the holidays as they normally do with only 9% planning to attend holiday church services and only 12% planning to attend holiday parades or New Year’s Eve firework celebrations.

Staying positive

Despite these concerns and the difficulties faced throughout the pandemic, those who responded to the survey also showed that they’ve managed to find positives in their experiences. 

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