The COVID-19 pandemic came to completely change our lives and the normalcy to which we were used. We had to seclude ourselves in our homes and also deal with the possibility of getting sick and with the uncertainty brought by a disease that was completely unknown even to scientists, so we also had little idea of what measures to take to take care of ourselves.
The confinement, uncertainty, and fear, triggered by the numbers of infections and deaths that were only increasing, led, as was anticipated, to effects on our mental health, which resulted, mainly in anxiety and depression.
This is why it is not surprising that the main search in Google was precisely the word “anxiety”, as discovered by a group of researchers from the University of California and Johns Hopkins University, in a study published in JAM Internal Medicine.
The researchers studied searches related to anxiety symptoms and, according to statistics, interest in the topic exceeds three million searches, a collection of data that yielded a record never seen in the last 16 years, according to the history of Google searches of US citizens between January 2004 to May 2020.
These data found that the most frequent and highest searches during the study period were “I am having a panic attack”, “symptoms of anxiety”, “attack”, or “symptoms of anxiety attack”, as explained Benjamin Althouse, an epidemiologist from the Institute for Disease Modeling, which was also involved in the study.
The research highlighted that during the first 58 days of the COVID-19 pandemic there was an estimated total of 3.4 million searches related to severe acute anxiety in the North American country.
The highest levels of the search were concentrated as of March 13 when Donald Trump made official the measures to be taken in the face of the health emergency unleashed in that country by the coronavirus pandemic.
Between March 16 and April 14, the largest increases in the search were detected, by 17 percent, according to experts, who affirmed that knowing these statistics will be of great help to know how the population will be helped to overcome the ravages of the pandemic.