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Soc Sci Med ; 281: 114040, 2021 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34144481


RATIONALE: Stress process theory considers that actual and perceived isolation, caused by mobility restrictions from attempted containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, deteriorates mental health. OBJECTIVE: We examine the relationship between the COVID-19 lockdowns and mental health-related Google searches in 11 Latin American countries. We include the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. We also explore how changes in search patterns relate to income support policies and to COVID-19 death rates. METHOD: Using Google Trends data and an event-study design, as well as a difference-in-differences analysis, we investigate the association between country specific stay-at-home orders and internet searches including the following words: insomnia, stress, anxiety, sadness, depression, and suicide. RESULTS: We find three main patterns. First, searches for insomnia peak but then decline. Second, searches for stress, anxiety, and sadness increase and remain high throughout the lockdown. Third, there is no substantial change in depression-related or suicide-related searches after the lockdown. In terms of potential mechanisms, our results suggest that searches declined for suicide and insomnia following the passage of each country's income support, while in countries with higher COVID-19-related death rates, searches for insomnia, stress, and anxiety increased by more. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that, in Latin America, Google searches for words associated with mild mental health disorders increased during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Nonetheless, these conclusions should not be construed as a general population mental health deterioration, as we cannot verify that search indicators are accurately related to the users' current feelings and behaviors, and as internet users may not be representative of the population in this region.

COVID-19 , Salud Mental , Motor de Búsqueda , Argentina , Bolivia , Chile , Colombia , Control de Enfermedades Transmisibles , Ecuador , Guatemala , Honduras , Humanos , América Latina/epidemiología , México , Pandemias , Perú , SARS-CoV-2 , Uruguay
J Crim Justice ; 72: 101745, 2021.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32994650


Objective: To investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on conventional crime and organized crime in Mexico City, Mexico. Methods: Mexico City's Attorney General's Office reported crime data, covering domestic violence, burglary, robbery, vehicle theft, assault-battery, homicides, kidnapping, and extortion. We use an event study for the intertemporal variation across the 16 districts (municipalities) in Mexico City for 2019 and 2020. Results: We find a sharp decrease on crimes related to domestic violence, burglary, and vehicle theft; a decrease during some weeks on crimes related to assault-battery and extortion, and no effects on crimes related to robbery, kidnapping, and homicides. Conclusions: While our results show a decline in conventional crime during the COVID- 19 pandemic, organized crime remains steady. These findings have policy implications for catastrophic events around the world, as well as possible national security issues in Mexico.