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A third of Covid survivors suffer neurological or mental disorders (reuters.com)
56 points by nojito 3 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 82 comments

Since the article does not link to the actual publication, as is frustratingly common, here is what I believe is referenced:


Thanks, the original text is helpful.

To address a couple of the questions brought up below - the study included, as control groups, people diagnosed in the same period with influenza and with other respiratory diseases.

Between those groups and the groups diagnosed with COVID, there were notable increases in a set of outcomes like intracranial hemorrhage and ischemic stroke, which are medical outcomes that would be hard to tie to isolation, especially when controlling with others who also had respiratory illnesses in the same period.

Yes, but it doesn't excuse the alarming and misleading headline. The one third includes 24% of patients showing mood and related disorders, compared to 21% for other respiratory diseases.

Covid is bad enough as it is. It's no reason to run roughshod over basic journalistic principles.

> Researchers who conducted the analysis said it was not clear how the virus was linked to psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression, but that these were the most common diagnoses among the 14 disorders they looked at.

Could it have something to do with being locked up for the last 6 months or worry about ones future career maybe?

> Could it have something to do with being locked up for the last 6 months or worry about ones future career maybe?

So you're saying the study is so shoddy that they didn't have a control group of people who went through the same lockdowns but didn't get COVID? Otherwise, your comment doesn't make sense.

You cannot control for that.

You can't give a control group a "placebo illness" such that they don't know whether it's Covid-19 or not (and make it double-blind so that the people administering this illness also don't know).

The people who overcame Covid-19 had an experience that members of a control group who did not overcome Covid-19 do not have.

That's an obvious source of bias, which is inherent to the study.

What would be credible would be data about people who had Covid-19 but did not know it (due to mild symptoms and no hospitalization), showing that those people have mental problems compared to a control group of those who didn't have Covid-19.

However, if there is a real physiological effect there, it could be tied to the severity of the illness: i.e. how much damage it caused to the body. In that case, those secondary effects could be expected to be next to nonexistent in the mild group.

The effect might not even be physiological yet still be this prominent: having COVID-19 makes you doubly scared for your loved-ones, worry about your perception in the society (was I not careful enough?), worry about lingering side-effects, worry about missing extended time from work, etc. While this depends on the individual, you can notice effects of increased stress in large numbers.

Your suggestion of another control group with Covid-19-but-no-symptoms would help answer that question too, though ideally we'd want those who had Covid19 but didn't know it at all.

But anyway, this paper is only establishing correlation: getting to causation in medicine is the harder task and takes years or decades and even then it's usually inconclusive!

You can never really rely on just one study anyways. You then need metastudies and comparative studies where such flaws get weeded out or corrected for. So there will be significant lag in certainty, thus not suitable for much of decisionmaking now.

Their control group was people that had influenza and other respiratory conditions in the same timeframe. The hazard ratios for COVID survivors (over influenza or others) were in the 1-2% range. Meh.

That's not a credible control, because influenza and respiratory conditions are not a plausible placebo for Covid-19. The subjects knew that they are not having Covid-19, which makes them different from subjects which got Covid-19 and knew it.

I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, that if you control for covid-19, the effect of covid-19 goes away? Duh

What you want to control for is the lockdown effects or general disease stress, not covid-19 itself. That's what you're trying to measure.

I think the GP has a point: ideally, you'd have unaware Covid19 patients as a control group, to see if this is psychological or physiological.

Those aware they had Covid19 will fear all the known-unknowns around Covid19. Those who don't think they had it wouldn't have stressed about it at all.

The proper control group would be people with COVID who didn't go through the lockdowns.

Best control group would be people who went through the lockdowns, had flu but suspected themselves to have COVID.

I like this one too.

They both seem like useful control groups - can you explain the difference to an amateur on statistics?

Covid and the lockdowns both might be causing the effect. So you have one group that has just Covid and then one group that has both. Then you compare the outcomes and see if the just-Covid group has the effect too.

But my comment was kinda tongue-in-cheek: How do you even find people not affected by this doom-n-gloom global news story?

> The proper control group would be people with COVID who didn't go through the lockdowns.

No, they were studying the effects of COVID, not the effects of lockdowns. Your suggestion is controlling for the wrong variable.

So they controlled with 2 other groups, those diagnosed with the flu and those with respiratory trace infections.

Some things stick out:

1) That we are all locked up in a state of anxiety is a little bit hard to control for especially because those factors alone may not trigger things, but those factors + COVID may actually amplify.

2) The big loophole that's nary impossible to nail down is the psychological impact of being told you have something that 'might kill you and has killed 550 000 Americans and the cause of a pandemic' vs. 'You have the normal flu go hoe you'll be fine in two days'.

I once had an ailment that was actually something not so severe (lack of sleep, too much redbull and stress) and was fine a few months after adjusting, by my symptoms were so varied and odd I was sure I had the 'start of something worse'. The fact the doctors could not nail it down with a straight diagnosis sent me into kind of a panic.

The 'real control group' would be people that 'Had actual COVID' but were actually told that 'They just have the regular flu' - which would be obviously next to impossible.

Because the symptoms identified are common and indirect things like 'Depression and Anxiety' - it speaks even more to the mental aspects of the side effects.

If for example COVID patients had '50% higher likelihood of Iron deficiency' or something like that, well, it would be easier to absorb as a straight up side effect.

It might be possible to do the same kind of survey in other countries to see if the same thing holds up. It'd be interesting to see if they can normalize for things like neuroticism, and general attitudes towards the virus, deaths in the family due to COVID etc. to see if depression is more common in those who naturally tend to worry, or have more of a reason to be afraid.

Who's been locked up?

I've gone to the gas station daily to get fountain drinks, I've gone to grocery stores, etc... I have NOT gone to movie theaters or crowded in-door places, but I mostly avoided those before lockdowns.

The only change is masks.

In fact my daily life is mostly the same as it was before lockdown, except I had covid last march, have severe anxiety, depression, weakness in my hands/feet and severe neuropathy, as well as a standing heart rate of 130, sitting at 90, constant shortness of breath, fatigue that's only sort of in check when I take 3-4oz of energy shots per day plus my vyvanse, and two antihistamines (loratadine/pepcid).

At night I have severe insomnia, but that could be the pain as my pain level seems to be 2x at night as it is during the day.

I'm pretty sure there's a very valid effect of covid on the brain/body/etc. If you doubt it just go to reddit.com/r/covidlonghaulers

I am sorry to hear of your experience with Covid!

It makes total sense for you to be depressed after surviving with so many lingering side-effects: I only hope it improves for you going forward (and sooner, rather than later)!

However, we need more papers like the OP to establish how many people are in the same boat as you, and out of all the "newly" depressed people, how many are due to actual lingering health issues, and how many are due to psychological stress caused by going through the illness that's so influential on the world today.

During the lockdowns, I've messed up my back. While I originally went for physical therapy over the summer 2020, I don't feel comfortable doing that today because of COVID. The fact that I am not doing enough to "fix myself" is making me depressed. "Lockdowns" are a spectrum, and have also stopped people from potentially making changes they need to make: I don't think it's fair for you to discount it as a non-variable here.

I am sure you are wondering aloud if you'll ever be "back to normal". So am I.

But separating out all of these will help us understand COVID19 and its consequences, and help us adapt treatment to the actual causes.

I would presume the mental disorders are statistically significant in COVID survivors compared to the general population. Otherwise it’s not publication worth!

They actually compare it to other respiratory diseases survivors. The results are a lot milder than the headline implies.

This, by contrast to the shoddy Reuters article, is a good reference, with a chart that neatly summarizes the results (pay attention to the different values on the y-axes):


> Anxiety, at 17%, and mood disorders, at 14%, were the most common, and did not appear to be related to how mild or severe the patient’s COVID-19 infection had been.

I don't follow your implication in the context of the parent post.

For all the effects, having had COVID-19 means about 1-2% higher chance of each of the disorders they were looking at, except for one that was like 5%. IOW, sure, about a third of COVID-19 survivors have some conditions in the following 6 months, but so do Influenza and other respiratory disease survivors.

Did something in the article make you think they didn't control for something that obvious?

The article does nothing to mention the general population beyond suggesting that the difference between the incidence of psychiatric orders in covid vs cold/flu patients was 'significant'. It provides neither the title nor a link to the original study.

The significance and quality of the study are both impossible to elucidate from the article's text.

Ding ding ding! Also being told repeatedly that covid causes long hauler syndrome might cause people recovering from covid to worry if that will happen to them.

The anxiety is really noticeable in some people. My cousin - early 50s in age - recovered from Covid in late 2020. One of the most “happy go lucky” men you will meet, but now sounds constantly anxious. One year of quarantining may be a confounding factor. I hope we can get to the bottom of this.

We all went through a year of quarantine, and it made many of us more anxious or depressed, but not what you just described - and not like going to your doctor and getting diagnosed for an psych disorder that then shows up in the stats of a Lancet study.

A rare case of the CNN article, despite the equally deceptive headline, being better https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/06/health/covid-neurological-psy...

>They observed that those with Covid-19 had a 44% increased risk for neurological and psychiatric illness compared to people recvering from flu. And they were 16% more likely to experience those effects compared with people with other respiratory tract infections.

This means you're only about 1.5 times as likely to have these issues after a covid infection than after an average flu infection. So despite the highly deceptive headlines, this is totally consistent with covid, for non-vulnerable populations, being a little worse than a bad flu season.

But fearmongering sells better.

And for reference, this is a much better article: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-largest-date-link-cov...

So 50% is only a “little worse”?

Yes. By contrast, for example, diabetics have a 30 times higher risk of needing amputations than the general population, 30000% percent higher.

Getting a flu is a risk that most people don't take any precautions for. Meanwhile we are severely restricting freedoms for everyone in part because of fear mongering about "long term effects" of covid. The vast majority of people would not see a 1.5 times higher risk than the flu as a serious risk.

20x more people died from covid WITH masks/lockdowns than during a normal flu season WITHOUT precautions.

masks/lockdowns have been so effective that there's hardly ANY flu this season because the flu is a LOT less contagious.

Had there been no lockdown, how much life would've been lost? 10x that? Would 6 million lives matter more to you than 600k that should've lived?

I had covid 13 months ago. I have all the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia and anxiety/depression which I had before but I've never had daily mid-day panic attacks where I can't breath and feel like the world is crashing down around me - til this year.

I've worked from home for 6 years, I'm a stay-home kind of person on non-pandemic years, only major difference is now I wear a mask which I can still breathe in, by the way.

I've had the flu countless times in my life, never have I had after-effects that lasted 13 fucking months. Go to /r/covidlonghaulers and try to convince them it's all "just a flu" many of which were at one point anti-maskers, and "my freedumb" enthusiasts and have changed their tune.

> 20x more people died from covid WITH masks/lockdowns than during a normal flu season WITHOUT precautions.

Against flu, the most vulnerable are regularly vaccinated, usually in early October every year, ahead of the "flu season" (at least here). I wouldn't call that "WITHOUT precautions".

Precautions (mask-wearing, lockdowns) against COVID apply to everyone because we still don't know for certain WHO the most vulnerable are (and even with flu, we get that wrong sometimes).

I am not saying COVID is not worse, because we know it is (even if we don't know by how much), but more importantly, we don't know for who is it terrible which is the most important thing.

I can understand you are sensitive to anyone appearing to discount COVID because you are the one of those who had it terrible, but extremism from both sides can only stop us from learning the actual truth about how COVID spreads and what effects it has: GP made a factual comment based on the actual study data, and gave their opinion on how that's not terrible since COVID is worse than flu too. There was no discounting of COVID there, just an attempt to understand it!

The demographic overlap of Covid longhaulers with people who have other largely psychosomatic fake diseases like long-Lyme disease and fibromyalgia is telling. It’s also the same demographic of which 1/4 take anti-anxiety medicine: young white women. These are sick people, but not from Covid.

Which is not to say that some people are not seriously, permanently injured by the flu or covid. But the concerns about "long covid" are out of proportion to the likely reality.

It is also deceptive to talk about the higher overall death count vs. a normal flu season. There was much less pre-existing immunity to covid than the flu, so many more people were infected. I think a more useful question is the difference in outcomes for people who are infected with one vs. the other. People do not feel safe during flu season because they are not so likely to catch the flu. They feel safe because, unless they are sick or frail, the flu is not so concerning even if they do catch it.

I’m an adult male who had severe negative lasting psychological changes (panic disorder, GAD, depression) after a bout with pneumonia and I can assure you my symptoms aren’t “fake”. Nor was it due to the fear of having pneumonia, as the psychological symptoms started before before my physical symptoms appeared.

You sound like an ignorant person who’s been lucky enough to avoid some of the meaner curveballs life can throw at a person. I believe the covid long-haulers. It took me years to recover my mental health to “almost baseline” and I will probably be on SSRIs the rest of my life.

Immediately following my physical recovery from COVID, I experienced a dementia like feeling. It was quite scary. Forgetting where I was and going most of all.

YES!! or knowing where I was going but.... losing my spatial awareness - I'm on my own street a block from home and nothing looks familiar and I'm expecting things to look like Ohio where I grew up, not rural Utah...

I'm 41, and I should have at least 20+ years before I get dementia I hope, and nobody's ever had it in my family until > 90, so hopefully I don't get it till then.

Edit: I used to deliver pizzas, my spatial awareness is a keen skill I've honed, it's odd for it to just not work and for me to not know where I am. I usually have my route planned out to the lane changes I'll make and where I'll make them, as well as avoiding every left-hand turn I can.

I’m 40! Agree, loss of spatial awareness, walking from one room into another and suddenly not knowing where I was. It’s like I just woke up. Took a while to finally slowly go away.

I had that too, but it slowly went away.

I had covid. I can tell you losing my business from the lockdowns was infinitely more depressing than losing my sense of smell/taste for 5 days.

Somewhere else you mentioned being a junior dev? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26231702

For 2 years: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26119765

And you were never happier?


Covid had, as far as I know of, no impact on dev work. On the contrary.

( I was curious on which sector covid had an impact in this community)

This crosses into personal attack. The site guidelines explicitly ask you not to use HN for cross-examination, and hauling someone's personal details into a different thread is particularly nasty. https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&so...

Please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and don't do any more of this.

Covid definitely did have an impact on some dev work. I run a consultancy and business development is a lot harder when you can't have face to face meetings with potential clients or prospect for new clients at events.

That scope is a bit broader than i anticipated, since you are talking about new projects and meeting new clients.

Finding new clients is different than before, yeah. But that's "sales" in my opinion, not dev.

A lot of that has been migitated by focusing on e-commerce ( eg. in my side business)

Some of us try to start small businesses on the side, just for fun. I'm retired, but I do. I assume active devs do the same - buying a restaurant or a bar that suffered due to covid can be quite cheap at the moment.

Now that's been said, going through the person posting history with a fine comb like you did strikes me as rude.


Well consider this my last post on this account but here ya go:

I was in marketing and learned to code. In 2019 I quit my job to launch a startup in the live entertainment industry. Things were going well until Covid hit. I had to shut things down and I was grateful to have left marketing and switching to development. But make no mistake I'd rather be running my business.

You tried to string together a post history and make assumptions to discredit my original comment. It was rude.

I've seen tons of people blaming it on other factors. And tons of people blaming everything on covid-19 as soon as it was possible since they are sick of lockdowns.

But I'm not sure what niche in frontend development as a founder is available for live entertainment outside of tickets. And yes, that niche would have been affected by covid-19. Almost more than anything else, coinsidence?

Most startups downscaled until after covid and if it was in video, transitioning to online video could have been a very viable means.

Even podia builders which are directly affected in every way ( i know 2) have temporarily transitioned.

What was the name of the startup? You're comments are still incoherent to me, even if I "sound" rude.


In real life, i would have questioned more to see legitimacy ( it's still perfectly possible to be true) and you wouldn't have noticed it. I'm just using the tools available to my disposal.

And I'm still curious on what blocked a transition in that niche if it was in live entertainment as a dev. Since it couldn't been hibernated i would think of something capital intensive and that's why I'm asking the name to check further.

Claiming: this is my last post, just adds to me not believing you. Which is a shame.

Consider it more as curiosity in the specifics why it failed, than taking it personal.

> Well consider this my last post on this account

Why do you need multiple accounts? ;) More than in rl, online should be clear since it's easier to misinterpret something ( for better or worse)

> Post history and karma is part of a profile. It's in my right to see if the author has a proven history to make claims like that. Since: I don't know him. Do you?

> Claiming: this is my last post, just adds to me not believing you.

Please take this criticism in good faith (since I don't know any of the commenters) but I agree you are coming across as rude. Questioning the veracity of someone's personal experience (which seems plausible and doesn't require extraordinary evidence) then demanding more information after you've already done so, with zero perceived benefit to him...well I can see why some could feel offended.

You are correct that it could come across as rude and I have no problems with you mentioning it.

But, in 1 year having a successful startup in the live entertainment as a new frontend dev doesn't sound realistic to me. I've never even met a founder that would call himself a frontend dev tbh.

And if people blame something on Covid, at least they should be able to tell us why it failed due to Covid. It's not unreasonable to ask for more info, if specifics of cause / consequences aren't clear.

PS. The original comment was also off-topic ( there's nothing business related in the article), which probably made me doubt it in the first place.

Not just rude; looking through somebody's post history to find a gotcha is _embarrasing_.


“Now, pathologists at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have found evidence that large bone marrow cells known as megakaryocytes may be responsible for the brain fog. They suggest that megakaryocytes migrate to the brain in a journey precipitated by the destructive activity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”

"analysed health records of 236,379 COVID-19 patients, mostly from the United States, and found 34% had been diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric illnesses within six months."

Which third? How do I deduce if there's an additional risk, for my risk-group, of developing depression and anxiety to the point where a psychologist would determine that I meet the DSM criteria for diagnosing me with a disorder? Without SOMETHING like sex or age to go by, I think the author is trying to tell us that we should ALL be worried about contagious depression being coughed around.

"The disorders were significantly more common in COVID-19 patients than in comparison groups of people who recovered from flu or other respiratory infections over the same time period, the scientists said,"

I have no doubt that there is a statistical significance depending on the model they choose, but without some numbers I'm not sure if it's significant to you or me i.e significant in the literary sense. I don't mean to be harsh but there's an article for every symptom and covid correlates with many things, but covid has caused me tons of grief and angst but I've tested negative for antibodies twice and negative for covid 3 times. So while I definitely blame covid for causing me emotional harm, it certainly wasn't the virus itself.

I keep referencing it, but I refer you to this article, which contains a lot of helpful information, including a very useful chart:


PS. As you'll see, statistically significant difference does not mean an important difference.

I think grandpa of my girlfriend is going through something similar, COVID changed his mental state significantly (he is sick right now and getting additional oxygen).

Before that he was calm and kind to his daughter but now he is really aggressive (verbally attacks everybody who want to help) and depressed (does not eat and drink and says he “just wants to die”)

It looks really strange and not normal.

Might have something to do with the shame people might feel upon knowing they contracted COVID, and a relative inability to process those emotions in a helpful manner. This may be more common in those who previously saw themselves as masters of their own destiny who are now reliant on help.

Didn't see any stats for the 'control group'. Not sure how big the effect actually is?

Not that big, see the chart here: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-largest-date-link-cov...

Compared to other respiratory diseases, the most significant increases are in the risk of ischaemic stroke (from 1.5% to 2%) and myoneural junction or muscle disease (from 0.1% to 0.5%).

The rest is mostly comparable. Notably, the risk of mood and related disorders goes from 21% for other respiratory diseases to 24% for Covid. What a misleading headline!

>One in three COVID-19 survivors...were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder

What was it before COVID-19? Because based on purely personal experience I would have assumed the baseline is higher than 1/3 of people having brain or psychiatric disorders.

I'm sure many have heightened effects after covid who had issues before. I've had anxiety/depression but never panic attacks, nothing like I get now where almost like clockwork everyday at 2pm I feel anxiety grip me, and if I don't make it to my bed to lay down I get super dizzy and yell and scream at people.

Also brain fog, never ever had that before. I feel like there's an alien taking over my body and he forgot where everything goes. I'm driving down the street I live on, and I forget which house is mine, and nothing looks familiar.

I'm 41. Supplements sometimes help, but not everyday.

If your group health plan covers therapists you should take advantage of that.

If the hypothesis is true that Covid causes these effects, that will probably lead to discrimination against people who have had Covid. Good idea to hide that. People who shared their Covid experiences may regret that.

Psychiatric studies like this are almost always so disgracefully designed. It's inevitable that people will struggle to study themselves, I suppose.

I think the study itself is not so bad, judge for yourself [0].

The Reuters article, on the other hand, is a disaster: alarming headline, check, no link to the original research, check, no context provided to understand the numbers, check!

[0] https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-largest-date-link-cov...

very misleading headline

Good luck getting treated for these disorders, as well. I called UCLA mental health yesterday for a family member in crisis, and they said to call back in mid-June for the first available appointments which are in mid-July. Their only advice for getting help until then was to go to the emergency room.

University-run health care systems are the absolute worst in terms of getting a non-emergency appointment within a reasonable time period. They also have a condescending attitude toward patients in general. Very European style of health care.

You'll have better luck at a solo practitioner, a small group practice, or if you must go to a large institution, a Christian non-profit hospital.


This seems like an exaggeration.

Not much of one, I think. I've got Covid; got my test results this very morning.

So whatever. I can work from home; my symptoms feel like seasonal allergies. It's not debilitating.

But my wife is freaked out. Strangely so. She's reluctant to get tested, even though she has almost certainly had it for days, with no worse symptoms than me. She's convinced that something horrible is going to happen, and no statistics or studies are going to change her mind. It's a deep fear that I think she's absorbed from popular media over the last year.

Check back w/ us in a few months, especially if you get brain fog, pain/weakness/numbness/cold arms/feet/hands, pain all over the body, or daily uncontrollable fatigue that just hits you out of nowhere and lasts for hours.

Hint: When you get to that point: b6, b12, D, b3 vitamins + l-tyrosine, taurine, l-theanine, h1/h2 antihistamines (zyrtec/pepcid), and vyvanse (ADHD meds), makes me maybe 75% of normal 90% of the week.

I usually need one day though where I drop the energy shot, and vyvanse and just sleep all day to recoup.

As for depression/anxiety/brain fog those are still random, and I can't seem to account for why/how they come and if there's anything that alleviates them. I'm trying more supplements, it could be related to the insomnia at night though, so I may be trying some night-time sleep herbs like valerian root, etc.

I did try SSRI's and hell no, will I ever take one of those again. I was constantly "wanting" but unable to "perform" my "husbandly duties". That alone will fuck up your mental attitude and make you anxious and depressed.

I swear every day a new article comes out painting COVID as the new TB, AIDs, or Syphilis. Everyone I know who's had it (and is under 60) is fine and reports no/very limited lingering issues.

TB has killed 1.4 million+ for years now. Malaria has killed .4 million+ per year for years now. Diabetes has killed ~1 million+ for years now.

You start to add up deaths from years and years of these preventable conditions and it puts 2-3M deaths from COVID into perspective. Can't make sensational headlines with things people already know I guess?

We went through a full court press as a society to try to stop COVID and still wound up with 2.8M dead that we know of, including half a million in the US alone. I'm not sure how you look at that number in the midst of the efforts to stop it and come up with the idea that the virus was overblown.

> We went through a full court press as a society to try to stop COVID

That's a very generous assessment considering there were so many deniers and so many people who refused to isolate themselves.

Diabetes kills 1.4M a year. Do we reorganize society to make people walk more? No, it kills slower and more spread out.

I agree with the reaction. We needed to flatten the curve to protect hospitals and hospital workers. That is the only justifiable reason for the closures in my mind.

Are you implying that diabetes is an extremely contagious, transmissible disease that only requires one infected person and poor air circulation to spread?

Diabetes is highly preventable and we choose not to address it societally. We may not like what that says about us, but it says something. Especially when you compare our societal response to it with our societal response to COVID.

> Everyone I know who's had it is fine and reports no/very limited lingering issues.

"I know someone who survived a car crash with no injuries, so car crashes are not dangerous and we don't need seatbelts."

It's 10 - 100 years of the flu all at once. It's bad, puts strain on hospitals, and deserved closures and mask mandates to flatten the curve.

There's a lot of media incentive and initiative to make it appear worse than it actually is though.

Maybe people had these conditions before they caught COVID and didn't get their checkups until they sought COVID treatment because it was too expensive, they don't trust the medical system, etc.

Maybe people are suffering from the added stressors related to isolation, job precarity, malaise, distrust in the members of society around them, being stuck at home with people they don't like or who actively harm them, etc.

Maybe the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes neurological issues when it inhabits the nervous system.

Could be any of these. The title can be easily misinterpreted as "COVID is the direct cause of everyone's issues" if the reader has a naive understanding of how people interact with healthcare based on pre-existing socioeconomic, etc. factors.

To be fair, the article body's language is careful to avoid a specific attribution, as I'm sure the people who ran the study were avoiding claiming such conclusions. But since only about 40% of people read past the headline this isn't doing anything to help the general collective trauma we are experiencing surrounding this pandemic.

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