Adapted from Ettman, et al., 2020, "Prevalence of Depression Symptoms in US Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic"; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans are reporting symptoms of depression three times more than they were before the pandemic, according to a recent study published in JAMA.

Why it matters: The downstream effects of the coronavirus on our health, and particularly our mental health, are getting worse.

Between the lines: The same people getting hammered hardest by the actual coronavirus are also most likely to be at higher risk of depression.

  • Households with lower incomes, households with less than $5,000 in savings and people with high exposure to coronavirus stressors were more likely to report depression symptoms.
  • "As an event that can cause physical, emotional, and psychological harm, the COVID-19 pandemic can itself be considered a traumatic event," the authors write. "In addition, the policies created to prevent its spread introduced new life stressors and disrupted daily living for most people in the US."

The bottom line: "Post–COVID-19 plans should account for the probable increase in mental illness to come, particularly among at-risk populations," the authors conclude.

Our thought bubble: In the short term, the best way to reduce mental health issues stemming from the pandemic is to reduce the severity of the pandemic, which means getting the virus under control and, in turn, lessening its economic disruption.

  • But mental health issues don't go away overnight, and our health care system was already bad at addressing them. Suicide and substance abuse have been huge issues in the U.S. for years.
  • If we're actually going to address these trauma-related mental health issues, that probably requires a serious policy effort, as the people most affected are the people least likely to have access to mental health care under today's system.

Go deeper: The coming coronavirus mental health crisis

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
17 hours ago - Health

Millions of COVID-19 vulnerable adults tied to schools

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable to the coronavirus, and at least 63.2% of employees live with someone who is at increased risk, according to a new study published in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: We know children can catch and spread the virus. This study emphasizes why minimizing risk if and when schools reopen is crucial.

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Rep. Khanna: COVID-19 could change the perception of public health care

Rep. Khanna and Axios' Margaret Talev

The universal experience of COVID-19 could change how opponents view Medicare for All, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "The pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity with other American citizens. It's no longer possible to think, 'Oh, we're not part of those who get sick.' Now almost everyone knows, unfortunately, someone who has been hospitalized, someone who had a serious bout with COVID," Khanna said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.