Experiences from previous pandemics show that social isolation can be very bad for mental health. After the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in the U.S., scores of post-traumatic stress were four times higher in children in quarantine at home compared to those not quarantined. This high stress level also applied to parents too. Almost 30% of quarantined parents reported symptoms of mental health disorders, such as trauma and anxiety. When people returned to their daily lives after SARS, many reported avoiding people who were coughing and sneezing and avoiding crowded and public spaces for many weeks. We are likely to see similar effects over the weeks and months after COVID-19.
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