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The Guardian: Omicron brings fresh concerns for US mental health after ‘grim two years’

From The Guardian: A Gallup poll conducted in November found that, like last year, only 34% of Americans describe their mental health as “excellent”. Those are the lowest levels in two decades. Even though many people in the United States are now vaccinated against the virus and able to engage in something like a pre-pandemic lifestyle, the country’s population continues to suffer from anxiety and depression. And now there are fresh worries about the Omicron variant and the impact it could have on public life this winter. The new variant – which, early reports suggest, could be more contagious than previous strains – is already spreading in the US, triggering concern. If Omicron does lead to another Covid-19 surge, the impact on mental health will be serious. “Despite vaccinations, we still see that people are not back to pre-pandemic levels of wellbeing,” said Silvia Saccardo, a social scientist and co-author of a recent study on college students at the University of Pittsburgh students. “And they are not back to pre-pandemic levels of physical activity, which could have consequences as well, and this is quite worrisome, because if lifestyle habits and wellbeing don’t naturally rebound, it’s important to think about what to do, about interventions to help them.” Read the full story in The Guardian.