Study finds state restrictions not the cause of early COVID-19 pandemic distress

Exposure to virus media coverage and personal experience, not state restrictions, were the culprit of worsening mental health at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a study found. Noting that stay-at-home orders and social distancing, once feared to create a “parallel mental health crisis,” did not have as damaging an impact as many assumed, Rebecca R. Thompson, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in the department of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues said the exact science of psychological responses associated with the pandemic remain unknown, as prior studies produced potential bias and inconclusive results.