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For years, Crisis Text Line has served as a 21st-century version of the call-in hotline, helping a largely young clientele manage life's challenges via text message. With the coronavirus outbreak, the line is now serving a new role as well — offering aid to a broader audience struggling to deal with a rapidly changed reality.

Why it matters: In addition to the direct health threat posed by the coronavirus, the pandemic and restrictions aimed at stemming it have led to all manner of anxieties, from health fears to money worries to social concerns.

In an interview for "Axios on HBO," Crisis Text Line CEO Nancy Lublin noted that the coronavirus has brought in queries from a wider range of age groups.

"Normally, 53% of our texters are under the age of 17," Lublin said. "We're seeing that decrease." By contrast, the service is now seeing a larger percentage of "older" callers, defined as those over 25.

  • Anxiety is the main concern, cited by more than three-quarters of texters. Normally, relationships and depression are the top issues.
  • "Symptom," "fever" and "cough" are now in the top 10 words nationally used by texters.
  • “Quarantine,” “lockdown” and “stuck” are also trending.

The big picture: While much attention has rightly been paid to the threat from the coronavirus itself, Lublin points to the many other pressing issues created by the pandemic — including lost jobs, social isolation and other impacts from people being forced to stay at home for long periods of time.

"I am concerned about what fear does," Lublin said. "I'm concerned that quarantines may lead to an increase in child abuse and domestic violence as people are quarantined with abusers and as stress runs high." Some groups may be impacted especially hard, she said — including LGBTQ youth, whose primary support came from peers at school, and undocumented immigrants.

"A lot of low-income immigrants are wage laborers. I'm worried that they don't have sick days, they don't have health care, and they may be pressured to work right now. And that they may not feel safe going to a hospital or seeking out health care because they would be worried about a forced deportation."
— Nancy Lublin

Go deeper: Increase in domestic violence feared during virus lockdown

Editor's note: Crisis Text Line can be reached 24 hours a day by texting HOME to 741741 and via Facebook Messenger from the organization's website.

Go deeper

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.

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