The world is now awash with frightening headlines. And as lockdown takes hold, there is no longer an option to disconnect from that news.
Many people with anxiety or other underlying mental health issues might experience a worsening of their conditions due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Even those without underlying mental health issues can experience anxiety and psychological effects due to the virus and quarantine. The uncontrollable nature of the pandemic can cause feelings of helplessness and loss of control of one’s life, in addition to the fear of being infected. Isolation from loved ones and society due to social distancing aggravate this because many don’t have contact with the people or activities they normally rely on to deal with stress and anxiety. The general feeling of high alert and intense emotions and events in the media and the world due to the pandemic can increase or create anxiety and other mental health issues in many people. The uncertainty of how the coronavirus will affect the world's future combined with the isolation and distancing from loved ones can cause anxiety in anyone, even without past mental health history.
The fact that more people are reporting mental health issues does not directly mean that coronavirus is causing or worsening these problems. Since the pandemic is an easy cause to attribute these issues to, people might start to report symptoms they were already experiencing now that there is a logical explanation for them. Many might also report previous conditions as due to the virus because they assume it must have an impact, even if it actually doesn't. Due to the high presence of media covering COVID-19's effects on mental health, people could report mental health issues because it is a popular thing to do, not because the pandemic is actually causing them.
[P1] Anxiety and stress are increased by uncontrollable events. [P2] Coronavirus is an uncontrollable event. [P3] Coronavirus induces stress and anxiety.