People who recover from a coronavirus infection often still have a long way to go to recover their mental health. A study in The Lancet Psychology finds that almost 70 percent of people hospitalized for Covid-19 suffer short term mental health problems, sometimes including hallucinations. Long term data is still unknown, but if coronavirus patients are like those who’ve recovered from SARS and MERS they may suffer from symptoms like depression and PTSD for years.
Paid sick leave is a good way to slow the spread of diseases like Covid-19. A study in the Journal of Human Resources finds that government mandates for paid sick leave significantly cut down on people showing up for work when they’re sick, especially in low wage industries where few workers traditionally get paid sick leave. The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act is the first congressionally passed bill giving paid sick leave to workers in medium and small businesses with coronavirus issues.Doing good for other people is contagious. A study in the journal Psychological Bulletin finds that people are heavily influenced to do good when they see someone else perform an act of kindness. Witnessing kindness is apparently key–people who see the good deed are more likely to perform an act of kindness themselves than those who benefited from the original good deed.
“Don’t worry, be happy” goes the song from the late 80’s and most of the time, less worry is a good thing. But a new study in the Journals Of Gerontology shows the one reason older men have a higher risk of Covid-19 is because they’re not worried about it. Researchers know that worry is a key motivator of health changes, but the survey shows that among all groups older men were less worried about the pandemic and had adopted the fewest number of behavior changes. However, experts say helping people understand their risk prompts change better than inciting worry.
And finally…if you’re feeling stressed and anxious about the pandemic, you can bet your dog or cat is feeling it just as much. Veterinarians at Purdue University say that pets aren’t very good at coping with uncertainty in general…and when they see their people stressed out, it can be confusing and anxiety-provoking. Veterinarians say that as society opens up and people go back to work, pets are likely to be stressed again. Experts advise a gradual transition to full work days away from home if possible.
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