While most research focuses on the clinical treatment of COVID-19, fewer studies have investigated individuals' responses toward this novel infectious disease. This study aims to report the temporal changes in individuals' psychological wellbeing, perceived discrimination, sociopolitical perceptions, and information-seeking behaviors among the general public in Hubei, China. Data were obtained from a two-wave survey of 1,902 respondents aged 18-80 in Hubei province during the peak and mitigation stages of the outbreak. The results showed that the prevalence of psychological distress dropped from over 75% to around 15% throughout the study period, but perceived discrimination remained stable. Female, middle-aged, well-educated respondents and those employed in government/public institutions/state-owned enterprises tended to report more distress. While respondents' attention on COVID-19 information kept high and stable, their sources of information diversified across different sociodemographic groups. Over time, people obtained more social support from neighborhoods than from their friends and relatives or non-government organizations. Over 80% of respondents were satisfied with the performance of the central government, which was notably higher than their ratings on the local government and neighborhood/village committees. The findings of this research are informative for formulating effective intervention strategies to tackle various psychosocial problems during COVID-19.
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- information-seeking behavior
- perceived discrimination
- psychological distress