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COVID-19 Spread and psychological stress between

Egyptian students

Mahmoud Bakkar
Teaching assistant in Business Administration,
Faculty of Commerce, Beni Suef University
Email:drmahmoudbakar@gmail.com
Mobile: 00201113245687

Abstract:
This paper attempts to investigate The role of Covid-19 spread in feeling the
psychological stress of Beni Suef University students, And determine the extent of
differences between males and females about how they feel these stress. This was applied
during the period from March 15, 2020 to June 15, 2020.
The study sample consisted of (384) students, of whom (119) males and (235)
females, from different grade levels and from different disciplines
After data analysis results indicated Most of the sample agreed on the existence of a
role of COVID-19 spread in psychological stress for Beni Suef University students, and
the results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between male
and female responses in most of the statements about their awareness of the role of Covid
19 spread in psychological cumulative cases of corona virus.

Key Words: Coronavirus (COVID- 19), psychological stress, Beni Suef University
students
1. Introduction:
The world is experiencing various manifestations of anxiety and
insecurity in its comprehensive concept, especially in an era characterized by
rapid successive changes in various areas of life, consequently, man became
in a state of turmoil and pressure with his world, and as a result, the human
mood became affected by these changes.
The most prominent of these changes is the spread of the Corona virus
(COVID-19), The outbreak has caused major concerns about public health
around the world. At the same time, there are growing concerns about the
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economic consequences as households are required to stay home to slow the
spread of the virus (Gormsen and Koijen, 2020).

I don’t think it’s too soon to say that the COVID-19 global pandemic
will likely be one of the defining events of 2020, and that it will have
implications that last well into the decade. The situation is rapidly changing.
The amount of people deemed safe to gather in a single place has dwindled
from thousands, to hundreds, to ten. Restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and
gyms in many major cities are shutting down.)Meyer, 202(

This is the matter that prompted many to practice most of the work and
activities from home through the internet and electronic applications,
especially those related to the educational process in its various stages.This
has resulted in people approaching this period of isolation and uncertainty,
and major changes overnight in their behavior and life. Which exposes some
of them to feel stress from these changes.

The term Psychological stress referring to A relatively permanent state


of tension and emotion that students feel as a result of going through a set of
personal, social, academic and future events and situations that lead to shock
in their lives, These stress also include the circumstances and events related
to stress, tension and intensity resulting from the requirements or changes
that necessitate some kind of re-alignment on their part with those situations
and the resulting psychological and physical responses that prevent their
psychological and social compatibility (Ali, 2015).
If psychological pressures are a psychological issue that concerns
society, then these pressures among Undergraduates take another course that
may differ relatively from other groups of society, Undergraduates are at a
stage that is vulnerable to changes in the surrounding environment , and the
degree of their response to them is usually more than other social groups,
Where the burden of development and change in the political, social,
economic, industrial and other fields rests with the students present and
future, or they contribute significantly to these processes (Lebouzda ,2016).
So, this paper attempts to address the following question:

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What is the role of the spread of the Coronavirus in feeling the
psychological stress between students?
2. Literature Review:
In this section, the author try to present some previous literature for
this research.
(Al-Rabiaah, et al, 2020( aimed to explore COVID-19 epidemic impact
on medical students 'perception and determinants of their psychological
distress during this outbreak. The results showed that One hundred and
thirty-four (77%) reported minimal anxiety, thirty-two (18.4%) reported
mild anxiety, 8(4.6%) reported moderate anxiety, and none of them reported
severe anxiety (score >14). The stress level(as reported on 1–10 scale)
shows significant correlation with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-
7)score.
(Huang and Zhao. 2020 ) aimed to identify high-risk groups whose
mental health conditions were vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak in
china, Data were collected from 7,236 participants, The results showed that
The overall prevalence of anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and
poor sleep quality were 35.1%, 20.1%, and 18.2%, respectively. People aged
< 35 years reported a higher prevalence of anxiety symptoms and depressive
symptoms than people aged ≥ 35 years. Healthcare workers have the highest
rate of poor sleep compared to other occupations. Healthcare
workers/younger people who spent a high level of time (≥ 3 hours/day) had a
particular higher prevalence of anxiety symptoms than in those who spent
less time (< 1 hours/day and 1-2 hours/day) on the outbreak. During the
COVID-19 outbreak, health care workers and younger people were at an
especially high-risk of displaying psychological impact when they spent too
much time thinking about the outbreak.
(Zhang and ma, 2020 ) aimed to investigate the immediate impact of
the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and quality of life among local
Chinese residents aged 18 years in Liaoning Province, mainland China. . A
total of 263 participants (106 males and 157 females) completed the study.
The mean age of the participants was 37.7 14.0 years, and 74.9% had a high

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level of education. The mean IES score in the participants was 13.6 7.7,
reflecting a mild stressful impact. Only 7.6% of participants had an IES
score 26. The majority of participants (53.3%) did not feel helpless due to
the pandemic. On the other hand, 52.1% of participants felt horrified and
apprehensive due to the pandemic. Additionally, the majority of participants
(57.8–77.9%) received increased support from friends and family members,
increased shared feeling and caring with family members and others
(Tasnim, et al., 2020) aimed to investigate Impact of rumors or
misinformation on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in social media. The
study showed The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused significant
challenges for health system all over the globe but also fueled the surge of
numerous rumors, hoaxes and misinformation, regarding etiology, outcomes,
prevention, and cure of the disease. This misinformation are masking
healthy behaviors and promoting erroneous practices that increase the spread
of the virus and ultimately result in poor physical and mental health
outcomes among individuals. Myriad incidents of mishaps caused by these
rumors was reported across the world
(Nader et al., 2014) aimed to identify the sources of psychological
stress among students of the Faculty of Physical Education and its
relationship to both sex, academic level and grade point average, And
compare these sources with the sources of psychological stress among
students of other Faculty. The sample of the study consisted of (198) male
and female students, (111) males and (87) females, The results showed that
there are differences between students of the Faculty of Physical Education
and students of other colleges in psychological pressure in favor of students
of the Faculty of Physical Education. There are differences between both
males and females in psychological stress, and there are differences
attributable to the cumulative average. University stress was the most
important source for students of the Faculty of Physical Education
(Bashbash, 2018) aimed to identify the level of Internet addiction for
university students in Gaza and to identify the relationship between Internet
addiction and depression and psychological bleakness. The study sample
consisted of 500 students. The study showed that: the level of Internet

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addiction among university students in Gaza is 58.48%, and the level of
depression 28.56%. Psychological bleakness level 56.60%, A statistically
significant positive relationship between internet addiction and depression,
A statistically significant positive relationship between internet addiction
and psychological bleakness.
Comparing with literature, it’s important to pinpoint that:
1) This is the first study in Egypt that examines The role of Covid-19
spread in feeling the psychological stress of University students.
2) The current research deals with Students of Beni Suef University
and does not take into Students in other universities.

* COVID-19 and Psychological Stress:


Individuals suffering from a set of changes immediately after exposure
to painful events, cause them to feel fear, anxiety, and stress, lack of focus,
sleep, and depression permanently. Epidemics and disasters in general are
usually sudden threats, causing high rates of anxiety compared to familiar
threats that people often react less to (Helmi, 2020).
Figures (1) to (5) illustrate the developments of Coronavirus spread
during the research period, as follows
Figure 1/5 shows the Coronavirus spread during the research period:
Figure (1/1) Total Coronavirus Cases in Egypt:

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Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus

Figure (1/2) Daily New Cases in Egypt

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus

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Figure (1/3) Active Cases in Egypt

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus

Figure (1/4)Total Coronavirus Deaths in Egypt

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus

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Figure (1/5) Daily New Deaths in Egypt

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus

The spread of the Coronavirus led to a change in the daily lifestyle of


most individuals, and some people raised doubts about many daily matters
and the nature of life between humans. (Zhang and ma, 2020, p3-4)
indicated that the spread of the Coronavirus led to changes in various fields
such as work stress, financial stresses, and stresses from home presence.
On the other hand, there is an effect on social and family support.
Support from friends decreased significantly, while support from family
members increased and feelings were shared with other family members.
Corona virus also affected mental lifestyle changes related to mental health,
as most individuals became more interested in their mental health compared
to a period before and during an outbreak, and they had a longer time to rest,
relax and exercise compared to the period before the virus spread (Zhang
and ma, 2020).
In general, symptoms of anxiety and depression increase faster than at
any other time in cases of the emergence of rapidly spreading infectious
diseases. Also, young people under the age of (35) years, the rates of anxiety
and depression rise among them during the outbreak of the new Corona

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virus, compared to those who are higher than (35) years (Huang and Zhao.
2020).
Through a number of discussions conducted by the researcher with a
number of university students, most of them emphasized the existence of
some kind of anxiety, tension, and psychological instability due to that
epidemic, and the inability of some to achieve academic achievement and
think about postponing that academic year.
3. METHODOLOGY
- The data collected from primary sources from survey of structured
questionnaire consist of (15) statement to measure the role of the spread of
the Coronavirus in feeling the psychological stress between students. The
data also collected from secondary sources that are like journals, magazines,
references books, and other web sites sources.
- Sample Size: The author developed an online survey and distributed it
randomly to 384 respondents (119 males, 235 females) as well as leaving it
open on the authors’ institutional website. The authors prevented multiple
responses by allowing respondents to answer only once based on their IP
address.
- When 30 questionnaires were filled then the reliability of the
instrument was checked and the value of alpha was found 0.82 It is stated by
Hair et al. (1998) the acceptance limit of reliability is 0.70. The alpha value
shows the positive reliability of instrument. After that further 354 responses
were collected.. Then SPSS version 25 was used for the analysis of these
responses.
- The author designed the survey based on a single-cross sectional
design. Results of the questions were coded on a Likert 5-level scale.

3.1 Statistical methods used in data analysis:


- A set of descriptive statistical measures: mean, standard deviation,
and Ranking.

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- Analytical statistical tests: The t-test of two independent samples, to
measure the significance of the differences between males and females.

3.2 Descriptive and diagnostic statistics:


The following tables illustrate the descriptive statistics of the research
variables related to The role of Covid 19 spread in feeling the psychological
stress, during the period from March 15, 2020 to june 15, 2020 as follows:
Table (1) Descriptive Statistics
Std.
N Minimum Maximum Mean Deviation

(1) The spread of the Corona 384


virus made me feel isolated 1.00 5.00 4.1497 1.03910
from others

(2) The spread of Corona virus 384


caused me to feel upset and 1.00 5.00 4.1735 1.12493
desperate not to go to university

(3) The spread of Corona virus 384


has led me to consider 1.00 5.00 3.1735 1.43566
postponing term
(4) The spread of corona virus 384
led to a feeling of instability and 1.00 5.00 3.9328 1.24666
fear of the future after
graduating from university
(5) My sleep hours decreased due 384
to the worry and anxiety of the 1.00 5.00 3.1215 1.41667
current situation
(6) I cannot focus on my tasks 384 1.00 5.00 3.6334 1.22567
due to the current situation
(7) I feel unable to make 384 1.00 5.00 3.5640 1.28144
decisions about my affairs
(8) The spread of the Corona 384
virus causes me to Nervous 1.00 5.00 3.3688 1.34594
easily
(9) Sometimes I think that I am 384
a worthless person because of 1.00 5.00 3.5944 1.25382
not doing anything

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(10) I am trying to come up with 384
a method or plan for what to do 1.00 5.00 3.9393 .92349
during this period
(11) I think that I can become a 384
stronger person as a result of 1.00 5.00 3.8807 1.00265
what happened
(12) I think that the situation has 384
its positive aspects and that it 1.00 5.00 3.7570 1.09623
was not very bad compared to
other things
(13) I expect to learn a positive 384
lesson from the Corona 1.00 5.00 4.0868 .90233
pandemic, which will benefit me
in my private life
(14) Relax, handle stress well 384
and be able to enjoy my daily 1.00 5.00 2.9479 1.23072
activities
(15) Feel the indifference and 384 1.00 5.00 2.5987 1.40400
taunt at the current situation
* Source : Data processing output using SPSS v.25.
To explain the results of Table No. (1), we note the following: -
- Trends in the vocabulary of the research sample (have shown a
general trend towards agreeing on phrases related to the role Corona virus
spread in feeling psychological stress and indicating that Corona virus
spread has a significant role in increasing psychological stress, With a total
mean average of (3.48) and a standard deviation of 1.21.
- The research sample showed that the agreed upon statement came in
the following order:
1- The spread of Corona virus caused me to feel upset and desperate
not to go to university
2- The spread of the Corona virus made me feel isolated from others
3 I expect to learn a positive lesson from the Corona pandemic, which
will benefit me in my private life
4- The spread of corona virus led to a feeling of instability and fear of
the future after graduating from university

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5- I think that I can become a stronger person as a result of what
happened.
6- I think that the situation has its positive aspects and that it was not
very bad compared to other things.
7- I cannot focus on my tasks due to the current situation.
8- I feel unable to make decisions about my affairs
9- Sometimes I think that I am a worthless person because of not doing
anything
10- The spread of the Corona virus causes me to Nervous easily
11- The spread of Corona virus has led me to consider postponing term
12- My sleep hours decreased due to the worry and anxiety of the
current situation
13- Relax, handle stress well and be able to enjoy my daily activities
14- Feel the indifference and taunt at the current situation
15- I am trying to come up with a method or plan for what to do during
this period.
Table (3): Independent Samples Test
Levene's Test
for Equality of t-test for Equality of Means
Variances
Sig. (2- Mean Std. Error
F Sig. T Df
tailed) Difference Difference

(1)The spread of Equal


the Corona virus variances -1.416- 459 0.157 -.15645- 0.11047
made me feel assumed 2.847 0.092
isolated from
others Equal
variances not -1.328- 184.752 0.186 -.15645- 0.11781
assumed

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(2) The spread of Equal
Corona virus variances -1.769- 459 0.078 -.21126- 0.11945
caused me to feel assumed 1.691 0.194
upset and
desperate not to Equal
go to university variances not -1.658- 184.714 0.099 -.21126- 0.1274
assumed

Equal
(3) The spread of variances 0.766 -.863- 459 0.388 -.13197- 0.15284
Corona virus has assumed 0.089
led me to
consider Equal
postponing term variances not -.847- 198.776 0.398 -.13197- 0.15588
assumed

(4) The spread of Equal


corona virus led variances 11.095 0.001 -2.142- 459 0.033 -.28316- 0.13217
to a feeling of assumed
instability and
fear of the future
after graduating
Equal
from university
variances not -1.979- 180.574 0.049 -.28316- 0.14306
assumed
(5) My sleep hours Equal
decreased due to variances 0.193 0.66 -1.162- 459 0.246 -.17507- 0.15072
the worry and assumed
anxiety of the Equal
current situation variances not -1.139- 198.87 0.256 -.17507- 0.15367
assumed

Equal
(6)I cannot variances 9.635 0.002 -3.100- 459 0.002 -.40071- 0.12924
focus on assumed
my tasks due to
the current Equal
situation variances not -2.898- 183.835 0.004 -.40071- 0.13827
assumed
(7)I feel unable Equal
to make decisions variances 5.314 0.022 -4.151- 459 0 -.55634- 0.13404
about my affairs assumed

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Equal
variances not -3.936- 188.06 0 -.55634- 0.14134
assumed
Equal
(8) The spread of variances 5.247 0.022 -2.455- 459 0.014 -.34982- 0.14247
the Corona virus assumed
causes me to Equal
Nervous easily variances not -2.304- 184.886 0.022 -.34982- 0.15186
assumed
Equal
(9) Sometimes I variances 7.924 0.005 -4.211- 459 0 -.55197- 0.13108
think that I am a assumed
worthless person Equal
because of not variances not -3.928- 183.253 0 -.55197- 0.14052
doing anything, assumed

Equal
(10) I am trying variances 0.872 0.351 1.295 459 0.196 0.12718 0.09821
to come up with a assumed
method or plan
for what to do Equal
during this period variances not 1.315 211.592 0.19 0.12718 0.09673
assumed
Equal
(11) I think that I variances 9.727 0.002 1.509 459 0.132 0.16082 0.10656
can become a assumed
stronger person
as a result of Equal
what happened variances not 1.643 243.171 0.102 0.16082 0.09789
assumed

(12) I think that Equal


the situation has variances 0.571 0.45 0.865 459 0.388 0.10094 0.1167
its positive assumed
aspects and that it
was not very bad
compared to Equal
other things variances not 0.893 218.166 0.373 0.10094 0.11309
assumed

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(13) I expect to Equal
learn a positive variances 0.237 0.626 0.669 459 0.504 0.06428 0.09609
lesson from the assumed
Corona
pandemic, which Equal
will benefit me in variances not 0.704 226.793 0.482 0.06428 0.0913
my private life assumed

Equal
(14) Relax, variances 2.011 0.157 3.609 459 0 0.46663 0.12931
handle stress well assumed
and be able to
enjoy my daily
activities Equal
variances not 3.779 224.476 0 0.46663 0.12349
assumed
Equal
(15) Feel the variances 0.112 0.739 1.729 459 0.085 0.25775 0.14911
indifference and assumed
taunt at the Equal
current situation variances not 1.733 206.756 0.085 0.25775 0.14872
assumed
* Source : Data processing output using SPSS v.25.

To explain the results of Table No. (2), we note the following: -


- The value of (T) for the statement (1) was (-1.42) with a level of
significance (0.157) greater than (0.05), so there are no statistically
significant differences between the average males and females responses to
this statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (2) was (-1.77) with a level of
significance (0.078) greater than (0.05), so there are no statistically
significant differences between the average males and females responses to
this statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (3) was (-0.863) with a level of
significance (0.388) greater than (0.05), so there are no statistically
significant differences between the average males and females responses to
this statement.

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- The value of (T) for the statement (4) was (-1.98) with a level of
significance (0.048) less than (0.05), so there are statistically significant
differences between the average males and females responses to this
statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (5) was (-1.16) with a level of
significance (0.246) less than (0.05), so there are statistically significant
differences between the average males and females responses to this
statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (6) was (-2.90) with a level of
significance (0.004) less than (0.05), so there are statistically significant
differences between the average males and females responses to this )
statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (7) was (-3.74) with a level of
significance (0.004) less than (0.05), so there are statistically significant
differences between the average responses of males and females to this
statement.
- The value of (T)for the statement (8) was (T) (-2.30) with a level of
significance (0.022) less than (0.05), so there are statistically significant
differences between the average males and females responses to this
statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (9) was (T) (3.93) with a level of
significance (0,000) less than (0.05), so there are statistically significant
differences between the average males and females responses to this
statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (10) was (1.30) with a level of
significance (0.196) greater than (0.05), therefore there are no statistically
significant differences between the average males and females responses to
this statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (11) was (T) (1.64) with a level of
significance (0.102) greater than (0.05), so there are no statistically

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significant differences between the average males and females responses to
this statement.
- The value of (T)for the statement (12) was (0.865) with a level of
significance (0.388) greater than (0.05), so there are no statistically
significant differences between the average males and females responses to
this statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (13) was (T) (0.699) with a level of
significance (0.504) greater than (0.05), so there are no statistically
significant differences between the average males and females responses to
this statement.
- The value of (T)for the statement (14) was (3.61) with a level of
significance (0,000) less than (0.05), so there are statistically significant
differences between the average males and females responses to this
statement.
- The value of (T) for the statement (15) was (1.73) with a level of
significance (0.085) greater than (0.05), so there are no statistically
significant differences between the average males and females responses to
this statement.

4. Summary and Concluded Remarks:


This paper attempts to verify The role of COVID-19 spread in feeling the
psychological stress of Beni Suef University students, and determine the extent
of differences between males and females about how they feel these stress . This
was applied during the period from 15 March 2020 to 15 June 2020.Prevalence
of The role of COVID-19 spread in feeling the psychological stress was
measured with questionnaire consist of 15 statement.
The results indicate that: The spread of the Corona virus has a clear role in
the majority of students feeling psychological stress and then fear, anxiety,
tension and despair from the future and not focusing on what is done. there were
no statistically significant differences between male and female responses
regarding the following (The spread of the Corona virus made me feel isolated
from others, The spread of Corona virus caused me to feel upset and desperate
not to go to university, The spread of Corona virus has led me to consider

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postponing term, My sleep hours decreased due to the worry and anxiety of the
current situation, I am trying to come up with a method or plan for what to do
during this period, I think that I can become a stronger person as a result of what
happened, I think that the situation has its positive aspects and that it was not
very bad compared to other things, I expect to learn a positive lesson from the
Corona pandemic, which will benefit me in my private life, Feel the indifference
and taunt at the current situation.
there were statistically significant differences between male and female
responses regarding the following (The spread of Corona virus led to a feeling
of instability and fear of the future after graduating from university, I cannot
focus on my tasks due to the current situation, I feel unable to make decisions
about my affairs, The spread of the Corona virus causes me to Nervous easily,
Sometimes I think that I am a worthless person because of not doing anything,
Relax, handle stress well and be able to enjoy my daily activities
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Psychological Stress among Academically Gifted Students, Education
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Al-Rabiaah, A., Temsah, M. H., Al-Eyadhy, A. A., Hasan, G. M., Al-Zamil,
F., Al-Subaie, S., & Somily, A. M. (2020). Middle East Respiratory
Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) associated stress among
medical students at a university teaching hospital in Saudi
Arabia. Journal of infection and public health, PP.1-6‫‏‬.
Bashbash, S., (2018), Internet addiction and its relationship to depression
and psychological unity among university students in the Gaza Strip,
Master Thesis, Faculty of Education, Islamic University of Gaza
Gormsen, N. J., & Koijen, R. S. (2020). Coronavirus: Impact on stock prices
and growth expectations. University of Chicago, Becker Friedman
Institute for Economics Working Paper, PP.1-35.

Helmi, D, 2020, How-does-coronavirus-affect-mental-health, Available at -


https://www.ida2at.com

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Huang, Y., & Zhao, N. (2020). Mental health burden for the public affected
by the COVID-19 outbreak in China: Who will be the high-risk
group?. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 1-12.‫‏‬
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Meyer, S, 2020, Understanding the COVID-19 Effect on Online Shopping


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Nader, H., Bashir, A., &Khaled. M., (2014), Sources of psychological


pressure among students of the Faculty of Physical Education and
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environmental research and public health,vol 17, No(7), pp.1-12.

https://www.ida2at.com/anxiety-depression-how-does-coronavirus-affect-
mental-health/
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/egypt/

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