Colleges and universities across the globe have closed campuses and moved instruction online in an attempt to stop community spread of the novel coronavirus.
Many students find themselves back home with family, quarantining while their campuses remain physically shut down. Others may be out of work and worrying about finances on top of attending online classes. Still others are international students who might not be able to return home.
According to researchers at the University of California, Irvine, many people experience psychological distress resulting from repeated media exposure to the crisis.
“It’s a public health paradox that has been identified during and in the aftermath of other collective stressors, such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak,” says Roxane Cohen Silver, UCI professor of psychological science. “In the case of the current coronavirus, people may perceive it as higher in risk because it’s novel, compared to other viruses such as the more common influenza. This can increase worry that may be disproportionate in terms of the actual chance of contracting the illness.”