Four in Ten Adults Have Experienced High Distress Levels Since Pandemic


Since the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020 hit, four in ten Americans have experienced high levels of distress, according to a new study from Pew Research Center.

These experiences are especially exuberated by young adults, as 58 percent of people from ages 18 through 29 had developed these symptoms, and it was due to many different factors. Some of the measurements in finding the elements in this survey were measured by a five-item index that asks about things such as loneliness, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.

This study affected many different demographics in different ways and had a greater effect on certain types of people than others. For example, 32 percent of men were affected, but 48 percent of women had experienced distress, meanwhile, the previous number discussed 58 percent of people from 18-29 had experienced the feelings.

The next highest age group was 30-49 which wasn’t even close at 44 percent, and on top of that 51 percent of people who had lived by themselves had experienced these feelings.

These differences could be due to many factors, as the pandemic affected people in numerous ways. Rebecca, a 22-year-old college student, detailed that “it was the hardest time of my life, because I felt like I couldn’t be myself socially, and there was no way to be able to meet up with people or get my normal interactions, without putting family in danger.”

Rebecca, who has a sister with asthma and a father with health risks, says “The constant worry of being able to meet up with my family was too much, I was scared of what I was able to do.” This is a great example of the effect the pandemic had on younger women, and why they had such a high percentage.

On the contrary, Trevor, a 27-year-old father, said the pandemic gave him a newfound ability to spend time with his family. He said, “It just brought us together, before it was more about living the best life and getting the most out of every day, but this really helped me become a lot closer to my daughter and everyone around me.”

Trevor said the job market was the most challenging part of the whole thing, as “it was insanely hard to find something new” and “I thought everything could shut down around me.” Trevor said jobs and not social interactions are what limited him the most, as there can be many different factors as to why people struggled with stress during this time.

As Pew Research found, living alone was a high demographic for these distressed thoughts, as 51 percent went through them, and Trevor continued by saying that “I don’t get how anyone who lived alone made it through that time, it was a time where the family was needed, and being alone would have led to some ridiculous thoughts.”

People who lived alone had the most trouble, as they probably spent days if not weeks alone, and had many different hurdles to overcome.

However, since the pandemic things have gotten better, as 60 percent of these people have either stopped or started feeling different feelings in the two years since the world has opened up more. Hopefully, the end of the Covid-19 era will bring less distress and more positive thoughts around this country, especially for younger people.