Hey, Seattle area resident, are you feeling especially stressed out these days? If so, you are apparently not alone.
The U.S. Census Bureau conducted a survey in late September and early October that found 54.5% of the adult population of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties said they felt “nervous, anxious or on edge” for at least several days during the previous two weeks – the highest level of angst among the 15 largest U.S. metro areas.
The survey was taken to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there was no particular link made between the pandemic and all this anxiousness. Given how dutifully people in the Seattle area have worn masks and gotten shots of the vaccine, it is unclear whether that is a sign of extra worry or an indication of calm about how to deal with the threat of disease.
Based on anecdotal evidence – like every conversation I’ve had with friends and neighbors since the election of 2016 – a good argument can be made that this region’s angst can be explained, in large part, by our dominant progressive political leanings.
People have regularly awakened with dread ever since Donald Trump squeaked out an Electoral College victory, and those feelings of doom have not abated, even with Trump and his mob out of the White House. The realization has dawned among Seattle liberals that Trump was only the avatar of a much larger movement in American politics that is aiming to limit voting rights, end abortion, expand gun ownership, reverse liberal social policies, resist efforts to fight climate change, preserve white supremacy and embolden conspiracy mongers.
It is no surprise folks around these parts feel edgy. If one is paying attention, there is plenty to feel edgy about.
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