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An outbreak of infectious disease is stressful: anxiety about acquiring the disease, worry about friends and family, concerns about the social, study, occupational, and financial impacts, and stresses related to the public health management of an outbreak can exact a significant psychological toll. As with other traumatic events, the psychological effects of an outbreak are not confined those who are directly affected.
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has profoundly impacted upon the lives and experiences of students in UK higher education. And whereas the British government and public health authorities have published frequently updated guidance about infection prevention and control of the epidemic, relatively little evidence-based guidance is available to support individuals and organisations in dealing with its psychological effects.