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Wed 17 June 2020:

It’s only June, but it’s already been a difficult and trying year for many Americans. Now, a new poll indicates that people in the U.S. are more unhappy today than they’ve been in almost 50 years, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Associated Press reports that the new findings come from the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. This year’s survey found that 14 percent of American adults are very happy, while 31 percent said the same in 2018. That same year, 23 percent said they often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, that percentage is at 50.

As well, more people felt isolated with figures rising to 50% this year from 23% in 2018, given restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Lockdowns led to a drop in satisfaction with social activities and relationships amid the virus that has infected more than 2 million and killed 116,000 in the US since January. 

“Fewer Americans have responded to the pandemic with negative emotional and physical symptoms compared to previous national tragedies, but more people say they have had an angry outburst following the outbreak,” according to the survey.

In addition, Americans are less optimistic today about their standard of living as only 42% of respondents believe when their children reach their age, their standard of living will be better.

Only 57% agreed with that statement in 2018.

A total of 2,279 adults were surveyed between May 21 and 29. The findings have a margin of plus or minus 2.9% error. 

A majority of the study’s interviews were finished before George Floyd’s murder that sparked global protests and conversations about racism and police brutality. Both the pandemic and ongoing protests have clearly added to Americans’ stress, particularly Black Americans.

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