How the COVID-19 pandemic caused massive mental illness on the left
By Rachel Alexander
We've all noticed it; there has been a distinct rise in online vitriol and mental illness from the left over the last few years, not just online but also making headlines for outrageous behavior in public and in their daily lives. Studies have shown that the COVID-19 lockdowns caused a sharp increase in mental health problems, and since the left locked down the hardest, it makes sense it affected them the worst.
Even for those on the left who didn't live in heavily locked down areas, their paranoia made them take their own steps to isolate themselves from society. We all know the families who disappeared; they stopped going to church, the gym, and other social activities, refused to let their children participate in sports or hang out with other children due to the brainwashing, which caused a disturbingly sad increase in mental illness among children.
A 2022 study from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) examined the partisan difference in mental health problems caused by the pandemic, and found "a clear partisan distress gap, with Democrats consistently reporting worse mental health than Republicans." The study observed "Democrats experiencing more disruption of routine and social isolation to reduce the risk of physical illness and Republicans risking physical health to maintain normalcy and sustain social connections."
The World Health Organization reported that the pandemic triggered a 25% increase in depression and anxiety worldwide. The NIH published a study which found that suicide rates increased by as much as 145%.
Due to excessive paranoia about COVID-19, the left was more likely to find ways to work in social isolation — if they worked at all; many took advantage of the left's generous expansion of unemployment benefits during the pandemic. A significant negative about working from home is higher stress, since "being 'always on' and accessible by technology while working remotely leads to the blurring of work and non-work boundaries," the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported. The WEF cited a study from the United Nations which found that 41% of remote workers reported high stress levels, compared to just 25% of office workers.
No doubt some of those on the left who have been the hardest hit are paid trolls working from home, who encounter little real social interaction, so most of their days consist of posting vile things on social media towards the right. This is horrible for their mental health, since an NIH study found that "workplace incivility" is correlated "with a host of negative outcomes, including increased burnout, turnover intentions, and physical symptoms."
Ever since Elon Musk bought Twitter last year, halting the banning of conservatives merely for engaging in healthy debate, the left has gone all out against them with hate. Instead of following through and leaving the platform as the left initially threatened, the paid left-wing trolls have stuck around and multiplied, spewing out hate at an alarming level.
An NIH study of mask wearing among older people found that 25% of them "experienced depressive symptoms." A study in Hong Kong from Frontiers of Psychiatry which found that psychiatric morbidities including depression increased due to the pandemic, revealed that those who were more educated about COVID-19 were less likely to suffer depression due to masks.
The study said, "[P]articipants who had better knowledge of the disease pandemic and higher perceived self-efficacy to wear masks properly were less likely to report depressive symptoms."
It found that those who "perceived high severity of the disease outbreak were most likely to report probable depression." In other words, the fear that leftist government officials and their comrades in the mainstream media put into people about COVID-19, instead of educating them, contributed to mental illness.
Hostility on social media continues to increase, with Pew finding that about 40% of Americans have experienced online harassment, and half of those state it was over politics. Democrats are more likely to get stressed out over talking politics with those on the other side than Republicans. A study in 2021 found that Democrats are now twice as likely as Republicans to end a friendship over politics.
Violent threats from the left regarding politics are becoming more commonplace. This month, after receiving a backlash for putting on a prominent display of radical LGBTQ and Satanist merchandise, Target minimized the display. In response, an LGBTQ supporter sent the corporation an email stating that bombs had been placed in five Target stores.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to track this rise in hate on the left because most of the research out there is from the left and focuses on making the left victims instead of accurately reporting the data. There are myriads of victim groups on the left like the Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights Watch which appear to exist solely to create the illusion that the right is responsible for all the threats and violence.
We know the hate isn't increasing on the right, for the simple fact that because other than on Twitter, the right is massively censored by big tech. Those engaging in hate on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google, etc. have either been banned, suspended or threatened with bans so much they no longer post as much offensive content. In contrast, the left has free reign on those platforms to bash the right.
The mainstream media won't cover the increase in hate coming from the left. They publish long, sympathetic articles about left-leaning political figures who have been harassed by the right — some which aren't even true — while ignoring those of us on the right who are seeing a steady increase in the most vile attacks including death threats.
And perhaps even more alarming, the left already had worse levels of mental illness than the right. The NIH study which found more mental illness among Democrats than Republicans also stated, "This gap did not simply emerge as a result of the pandemic, but rather reflects a pre-existing partisan distress gap."
Rachel Alexander and her brother Andrew are co-Editors of Intellectual Conservative. She has been published in the American Spectator, Townhall.com, Fox News, NewsMax, Accuracy in Media, The Americano, ParcBench, Enter Stage Right and other publications.