You may feel distracted, thoughtful, upset, or even calm as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. Have you ever wondered how the rest of the world is doing emotionally?

We heard a lot more about how other countries are doing at the start of the spring pandemic. Do you remember how you sing Italy?

McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that researches market trends and emerging best practices, conducted digitally interactive interviews with 122 people in eight countries asking them to share their thoughts and feelings about the coronavirus pandemic. Their results were published in an emotions archive.

Although there were minor differences – more joy in India, more anticipation in Australia – they found that people around the world think pretty much the same about the health crisis: a combination of negative and positive emotions.

Assessment of emotions about the pandemic

“Positive emotions may seem incongruent with the state of the pandemic worldwide, but as the initial shock has given way to an essentially new way of life, so is it to be expected,” said Tyler Arvig, PsyD, associate medical director at R3 Continuum, a global company According to Medical Daily, the company is a leader in behavioral health and safety solutions for workplace wellbeing. Dr. Arvig was not involved in the study.

“As people rediscovered priorities, spent more time with family, and found gratitude for the smaller things in life, positive emotions need to be present.”

The research was part of “The New Possible,” a series of COVID-19-related stories published online by McKinsey. The series explores how the coronavirus pandemic has challenged and changed people’s lives.

Spin the wheel of emotion

The researchers collected over 800 comments from 122 participants on health, family, finances, and work in April and May.

The emotions expressed by the participants were classified as joy, confidence, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, or anticipation, according to the wheel of emotions created by psychologist Robert Plutchik, PhD. Dr. Plutchik, who died in 2006 at the age of 76, developed the Wheel of Emotions in 1980.

The researchers found that topics related to joy in Italy include family, home, and time; in China home and games; in the US, business, family, and home; and in Germany joy, money and sport.

They also found that:

  • People in Italy and Australia were more angry with the pandemic than people in India, China and Germany.
  • Those in the UK and Singapore were more afraid of the future, jobs and a vaccine, while those in Singapore said money, the economy and health were the biggest fears on their minds.
  • Italy was the country with the most comments rated as sad, while the US and India had the least sad comments.
  • Australia was the country with the most acceptance comments. China had the least.

We are all dealing with the pandemic in a similar way

As we have seen in the US, the level of negative emotions depends on several factors: the actual presence of the virus, the impact on jobs, the economy, financial stress, and mental health.

“As different regions and countries are at different stages of the virus, we can expect differences in emotional states,” said Dr. Arvig.

The fact that the citizens of one country express more joy and less fear while the citizens of another country have more anger and less acceptance is based not only on the virus, but also on the conditions in their home country such as the state of the economy, life restrictions , Jobs and money. as well as how people are physically and emotionally.

“We tend to view emotional responses to negative events as generally negative for good reason. While this may initially be true, humans are unable to survive in a consistently negative emotional state, ”said Dr. Arvig. “Finally humor, fun and appreciation reappear to compensate for the negative. It was true during World War II, the 1918 pandemic flu, and after September 11th. “

He added, “The results of this study are really very hopeful as they show that, despite some individual differences, humanity is adapting globally and finding a way to move forward emotionally.”

Jennifer Nelson is a Florida-based health writer who also writes on health and wellness for AARP, PBS ‘Next Avenue, Shondaland, and others.

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