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A lot of newspaper ink and Internet space have been devoted to unboxing the mental impact of the pandemic. It is easy to blame the virus for rising levels of anxiety and depression, but this problem predates the outbreak.  

My colleagues in the psychology department tell me that mental illness has been on the rise for a few decades. The virus just made a bad situation worse.  People were already withering under the day-to-day stress of life, and they had no reserves to fall back on in 2020.

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