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Study shows that people are resilient and kind during the COVID-19 pandemic

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(PHILADELPHIA) — Though the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful time for many, a new study shows that the dire situation has resulted in at least one positive impact: We really care about each other.

For the study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania — with research conducted by the Lifespan Brain Institute (LiBI) — thousands of Americans were asked about their levels of anxiety and distress in relation to the pandemic. 

The online study was conducted in April and measured six areas, including fear of personally contracting and dying from the coronavirus, fear of a family member becoming infected and fear of unknowingly infecting other people. 

Of the 3,000 people surveyed, 48.5% said they were worried about their family members catching the virus, while 36% said they were distressed by the thought that they could unknowingly spread it to other people.  Only 19% said they were concerned about catching it themselves. 

“Based on our study, it appears that people are more worried about others than themselves when reporting their COVID-19 related concerns,” said Raquel Gur, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and director of LiBI.

The study also found that resiliency plays a factor in reducing stress and anxiety during the pandemic: Respondents with higher resiliency scores had fewer worries attached to the pandemic, along with a reduced rate of depression and anxiety. 

Gur noted, “As we get a better grasp of what constitutes resilience in people during COVID-19, we hope that soon we will be able to inform interventions that can enhance resilience, thereby mitigating the adverse effects of COVID-19 on mental health.”

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