Background: COVID-19 has diversified problems such as physical health, mental health, psychosocial and economic impact on people all over the world. A report from Johns Hopkins University revealed that many millions of people have been infected and millions of them lost their lives due to the virus.
Purpose: To assess the implementation of COVID-19 prevention mechanisms and to describe the impact of COVID-19 on people's mental health in Asella town.
Methods: Descriptive survey research design was used. Two hundred and eleven randomly selected participants involved for the study. Data gathered by using PHQ-9 depressive symptom and STAI-s anxiety scales. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent sample t-test and one-way ANOVA with post hoc comparison. Results: The finding revealed that 14 and 5.2% of the participants reported sometimes and occasionally wearing a mask regardless of the presence or absence of symptom. About 6.2% and 10.9% of the participants reported occasionally and never for the item avoidance of sharing utensils during meals. Half (49.3%) and 37% of the participants reported somewhat worried and very worried, respectively for concern about other family members getting COVID-19 infection. About 8.5% (M=22.64, SD=1.93) and 10 (4.7%, M=16, SD=1.42) of the participants qualify in the criteria of severe depressive symptoms and moderate-severe depressive symptoms, respectively. Conversely, 11.84% (M=52.76, SD=3.9) qualify in the criterion for severe anxiety. The independent sample t-test result revealed that there was statistically significant difference among males and females for anxiety mean score. However, there was no statistically significant difference among males and females for depressive symptom mean score. Regarding mental health across different age categories, the ANOVA with post hoc analysis revealed that there was statistically significant difference for state anxiety mean score among younger and older participants but not for depressive symptom mean score.
Conclusion: Generally, there is gap in the prevention of COVID-19. In addition, there is an elevated level of depressive and anxiety symptoms during the outbreak of COVID-19 that needs urgent psychological intervention.
Keywords: COVID-19, Depression, Mental health, State anxiety and prevention mechanisms