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More Americans searching “anxiety” as COVID-19 cases spike

Has the recent increase in COVID-19 cases got you feeling anxious?

If so, you’re not alone.

With the number of cases reaching new records every day, most of us are feeling our worry and concern return to levels we haven’t experienced since the outset of the virus.

And in many cases, we’re feeling more worried now than in that early, confusing time.

Data on Internet searches are backing this up.

According to a Business Insider article published online on Friday, nationwide searches for the term "anxiety" last week alone exceeded all other queries for the term since the pandemic’s start.

In fact, searches for "anxiety” are at a 16-year peak, Business Insider said, quoting data from Jessica Rabe, co-founder of DataTrek, a research company.

Anxiety is a natural response to a pandemic of this nature. But, while the number of cases is rising dramatically, the number of deaths is rising more slowly with some medical officials hypothesizing that the slower rate of fatalities reflects better treatment options for the virus.

“We don’t have a magic bullet cure, but we have a lot, a lot of little things, that add up,” Dr. Leora Horwitz, director of NYU Langone’s Center for Healthcare Innovation & Delivery Science, told The New York Times. “We understand better when people need to be on ventilators and when they don’t, and what complications to watch for, like blood clots and kidney failure. We understand how to watch for oxygen levels even before patients are in the hospital, so we can bring them in earlier. And of course, we understand that steroids are helpful, and possibly some other medications.”

So what do those of us do who are waiting out the pandemic from the sidelines?

Hunker down, be vigilant, and pay attention to advice coming from health officials, including all of the steps you’ve become so familiar with in the past nine months: social distancing, wearing masks, and washing your hands.

As you do, know you are contributing to better outcomes for all of us.

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