Twitter Uses Dark Humor To Roast Study That Calls Pandemic Mental Health Crisis ‘Minimal’
A BBC tweet about mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired an onslaught of darkly funny lockdown anecdotes.
The subject matter of the original tweet was no joke: It linked to a BBC article about research on the mental health consequences of the pandemic. The headline? “Mental-health crisis from Covid pandemic was minimal ― study.”
Canadian researchers analyzed 137 studies on mental health amid the pandemic and found a “high level of resilience” at the “population level,” the published paper read.
However, the research had a big caveat. As the BBC noted:
The review did not look at lower-income countries, or specifically focus on children, young people and those with existing problems, the groups most likely affected, experts say, and risks hiding important effects among disadvantaged groups.
On Twitter, multiple readers pointed out that the research appears to have excluded many of the very people whose mental health seems likely to be most affected. (The study itself acknowledges this, noting in the abstract: “High risk of bias in many studies and substantial heterogeneity suggest caution in interpreting results.”)
Additionally, other research ― some of it previously reported by the BBC ― has found evidence of significant mental health effects stemming from the pandemic. A World Health Organization report from last year, for instance, found that in the pandemic’s first year, anxiety and depression increased by 25% globally.
While some Twitter users were quick to point out flaws with the latest study’s conclusion (the BBC’s tweet now has an “added context” note amended to it), others took a blackly humorous approach. Many people used the headline as a jumping-off point to talk about moments early in the pandemic where things got especially strange.
I wrote a poem from the perspective of a pumpkin spiced latte and performed it on zoom https://t.co/EgdX8glD8Opic.twitter.com/vSz9JyPx1F
— Daniel Spielberger (@quepaso_daniel) March 10, 2023
There was a good amount of pet content.
I built my cat a mech suit out of cardboard. https://t.co/UKkfBQlsVmpic.twitter.com/6Z5rgEnDZf
— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) March 11, 2023
This was me https://t.co/JGj3RCQRyXpic.twitter.com/M3LhnkR8vv
— Heath (@LeastHesFunny_) March 10, 2023
I played scrabble with my cat https://t.co/waD0pfdsICpic.twitter.com/A88WKvE15u
— r*ch (@alasnofilter) March 10, 2023
And a lot of reminiscing about getting a little too into the game “Animal Crossing.”
in 2020 i recreated the last supper in animal crossing https://t.co/ZNLfYNu52Jpic.twitter.com/86GKhyRUEh
— lucy (god’s favorite customer) (@cambriancowboy) March 11, 2023
there was a black market for a cat from animal crossing https://t.co/NsTuCA1O25
— 💥witti💥 (@witti_wtf) March 10, 2023
At one point during lockdown I stood on the beach in Animal Crossing and watched the sun set in real time and cried https://t.co/s1Op9aD20S
— Tom Zohar (@TomZohar) March 11, 2023
I spent over 700 hours manipulating the markets in order to sell turnips to two young raccoons. https://t.co/CLfjVRC3WH
— Steven (with a ph) (@SJKSalisbury) March 10, 2023
But most of the anecdotes were, frankly, difficult to categorize.
girl i gave a pair of broken jewellery pliers an earnest christian funeral https://t.co/f5OZfih5ztpic.twitter.com/QkPpZTiPE4
— xenia's logic and reasoning spectacular (@soupsizedocean) March 10, 2023
I called him the king and he ruled over my apartment. I would ask him if it was safe to go to trader Joe's. https://t.co/Qs4L2cQQfjpic.twitter.com/U5c950iLmz
— KaiO (@H2KaiO) March 10, 2023
I was literally watching shrek on my fridge https://t.co/BqmNrAa1kdpic.twitter.com/ZJsssCiHpa
— Hurt CoPain (@SaeedDiCaprio) March 11, 2023
my housemate spent a week obsessively making a paper mache leopard https://t.co/1TtZWTWC7Ypic.twitter.com/TxiaIjUoCc
— ellen (@barbarousellen) March 10, 2023
— Dr. Anna Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org) (@AnnaGHughes) March 10, 2023
I spent 2020 dropping all my hobbies for nine months and then suddenly crafting a macabre hand puppet.
Does the Death-Pope Necrodemus I look ‘minimal’ to you? https://t.co/Nvvcf0jbsRpic.twitter.com/pqiBnnucnQ
— The Legend Rado Tharadus (@Utsanomiko) March 10, 2023
Need help with substance use disorder or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.