COVID Anxiety Is Real For Disabled People

CW: Death & Eugenics

For the past few years, I have been more anxious due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As someone with Cerebral Palsy, it has been even more challenging to live during the pandemic. Unfortunately, much of the world seems to have moved on from the virus. Many people have also stopped wearing masks.

Professors Ana Nikčević of Kingston University and Marcantonio Spada of London South Bank University first used the term “Covid anxiety syndrome” in 2020 after observing that people were exhibiting a specific set of traits in response to Covid.

CAS is characterized by a pattern of “maladaptive behaviors” that were adopted when the pandemic started, including compulsively checking for Covid symptoms, avoiding public spaces, and meticulous cleaning.

However, many disabled people are still anxious about contracting COVID-19. For many of us, COVID-19 or another respiratory illness could be life-threatening.

I still wear a mask in public places and I avoid places like movie theaters and restaurants if I can. Fortunately, streaming services have made it easier for me to watch movies. I get takeout instead of eating in restaurants.

Taking precautions can be critical if you are disabled. COVID-19 was the top cause of death among people with intellectual disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, and Down syndrome in 2020, according to a study done by Syracuse University. I worry about what could happen to me if I contract COVID-19.

For people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, the pandemic has been incredibly difficult to deal with. If people in your life seem anxious, please be patient with them. Nobody’s life is more valuable than anybody else’s.


Cuncic, Arlin, and Carly Stern. “What Is Covid Anxiety Syndrome?” Verywell Mind, 13 Apr. 2023,

Grover, Natalie. “Fears Covid Anxiety Syndrome Could Stop People Reintegrating.” The Guardian, 24 Apr. 2021,

Landes, Scott D., et al. ‘COVID-19 Mortality Burden and Comorbidity Patterns among Decedents with and without Intellectual and Developmental Disability in the US’. Disability and Health Journal, vol. 15, no. 4, Oct. 2022, p. 101376, https://doi.org10.1016/j.dhjo.2022.101376.

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