Rural Iowans’ Emotional And Physical Health Impacted By Pandemic

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 16, 2021

As per questionnaire information gathered during Dec 2020 and Feb 2021, the epidemic impacted the emotional wellness and personal connections of numerous rural Iowans. In contrast, inhabitants in larger cities preferred to experience physical health & economic issues more frequently. 

Rural Iowans’ Emotional And Physical Health Impacted By Pandemic

There are people in urban and rural areas who are affected by the pandemic, but there has been no study to note the effect of the same in specific rural areas of Iowa. Recently a team has conducted such a study. Some exciting facts are presented in front of the medical fraternity about the mental and physical health of people from Iowa during a pandemic. 

Rural Iowans' Emotional And Physical Health Impacted By Pandemic

According to David Peters, the findings show how the epidemic affected populations in any manner that could help shape government strategies to tackle these issues.

“We know all towns aren’t the same and didn’t experience the pandemic the same way,” Peters said. “Different communities have different needs, so you need a range of programs to help small towns recover from the pandemic.”

As per poll information acquired by an Iowa State rural sociologist, the pandemic has had a toll on psychological wellness in several of Iowa’s rural areas.

Participants in 73 Iowa villages were given to assess how the epidemic has impacted different elements of their existence, such as their physical and emotional wellbeing and also their economic condition. 

Participants were also questioned about their views of the epidemic and the govt’s reaction to the national healthcare catastrophe in the questionnaire. Just on the Iowa Small Towns Study website, you may obtain the findings, which include an overview analysis and data for specific villages.

These poll findings were broken up by community population, exhibiting tendencies that show how the epidemic impacted small areas differentially than bigger populations. As per the poll, financial repercussions are less common in the smaller areas. 

For example, in the tiniest areas, lower over 5 percent of participants indicated their housing condition had gotten worse, while just under 15 percent said their job condition had gotten terrible.

The low number of responders who thought the epidemic had worsened their bodily health might imply the epidemic wasn’t as bad in rural Iowa, so per capita fatality statistics obtained from CDC statistics don’t back that up, according to Peters. 

COVID-19 fatalities per 100,000 persons in Iowa rural areas with a population of 2,500 or greater were 270, greater than the nationwide average of 225. In rural states with no municipality with a populace of 2,500 or more, deaths exceeded 290 fatalities per 100,000 persons.

Smaller cities and cities having meatpacking operations, on the other hand, said that the epidemic harmed their medical condition and financial status. For example, over half of participants from places classified as meatpacking towns stated their physical condition had deteriorated, whereas nearly a third said their economic condition had deteriorated.

“There’s this perception that people in smaller and rural communities, somehow because of their low density, COVID-19 doesn’t impact them,” he said. “We found there were different impacts. In smaller towns, physical health and economic health were less of a concern, but there are mental health impacts.”

The National Research Council provided funding for Peters & his team to undertake the poll, which covered roughly 14,000 families in 73 Iowa municipalities. The study received responses from over 5,000 Iowans, yielding a participation percentage of 38.2 percent. 

The study’s margin of error is plus and minus 1.77 percent in communities of less than 3,000 people, plus and minus 3.8 percent in cities of 3,000 through 4,999 people, plus and minus 3.47 percent in villages of 5,000 and more people, and more or minus 3.01 percent in meatpacking cities.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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