The COVID-19 pandemic, rising prices, and the crisis in Ukraine have driven Americans’ stress levels to “alarming levels.” The American Psychological Association’s annual “Stress in America” poll indicated that more individuals evaluated inflation and issues related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as stresses than any other subject in the poll’s 15-year history.
Nearly 90% of those polled said that rising prices of ordinary things due to inflation is one of their “top sources of worry.” Supply chain disruptions, global uncertainty, and Russia’s potential reprisal in the form of cyberattacks or nuclear threats were all among the top concerns.
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“The number of people who indicate they’re highly stressed about these most recent events is remarkable in comparison to what we’ve observed since we started the study in 2007,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr, Ph.D., APA’s chief executive officer. “Over the previous two rough years, Americans have done their best to survive, but these numbers imply that we’re now reaching historic levels of stress that will test our ability to manage.”
The poll also indicated that two years after the CDC first proclaimed a pandemic, harmful behaviours linked to COVID-19-related stress are still prevalent. These findings indicate that “coping methods have become established – and that many people’s mental and physical health may be on the decrease as a result.”
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The Labor Department also released a report on Thursday showing that consumer inflation increased by about 8% in the past year, the highest increase in 40 years. Meanwhile, according to AAA, the national average gas price has risen 62 cents to $4.32 per gallon.
Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up prices, strong consumer spending, steady wage hikes, and persistent supply shortages had pushed up inflation in the United States to its highest level in four decades.
Furthermore, housing expenses have grown substantially, accounting for approximately a third of the government’s consumer price index, a trend that is unlikely to change anytime soon.