Mental Health and COVID-19: The Virus Affects All of Us

Hannah Lloyd

Covid-19 has had many unprecedented effects that threaten to cripple our economy and society. Burdened with the U.S.’s worst job market since the Great Depression and unemployment rising to 14.7% in April of this year (Trading Economics), people all across the country are feeling the severe effects of the pandemic. With over half the country in lockdown, millions are staying home while doctors and nurses race against the virus to save patients and restore a sense of normalcy to the world. 

However, public health issues other than Covid-19 have arisen as a result of the stay-at-home orders. For some, living with the same people for an extended amount of time can put an added strain on their relationships. Therefore, it’s not surprising that divorce rates have shot up and domestic violence is surging. The problem points to many causes – all originating from the lockdowns: financial stress, stress from protecting against the virus, stress of homeschooling kids, and confining spaces where one cannot escape from the others for a little breathing room. 

While Covid-19 has had the largest impact on working adults, it has still affected our generation as well by cancelling important events and cutting off any chances of friends meeting in person. 

Some of the biggest changes are on the educational level. Many colleges have already decided to remain closed for the entire fall semester of 2020, forcing students to remain at home watching important lectures from personal devices. Additionally, many school districts, including Rye, have decided to close for the rest of the school year. This generates numerous problems both educationally and socially. 

Significant events that would have been cherished forever such as prom and graduation have been cancelled. These cancellations along with the stay at home order have prevented kids from socializing with each other, helping us realize the value of everyday experiences we used to take for granted.

Here are what some of your classmates have been saying about the situation, though their sentiments are undoubtedly shared by many others:

 

“I know we have to stay safe and socially distanced, but I really miss my friends and wish I could see them in person more.” – Geoffrey Lien

“It really sucks when you’re looking forward to something for a long time and you work hard for it and it’s cancelled, especially Science Olympiad this year since we were so proud to make it to States for the first time.” – Laya Gollamudi

“It’s sad that we don’t get to see anyone and end the school year as we hoped, but if we all follow social distancing guidelines, hopefully we can start to see people soon and start to have a sense of normalcy! – Anonymous

“Covid-19 has led me to take walks, to read books, and to do other things I normally do not do/had less time to devote to before. But it has also led me to miss prom, spending time with my extended family, and other happy memories and traditions that were to happen this year. However, for everything I have gained and lost I feel lucky that my losses and gains are simple because there is a world of other people who have been impacted by this virus and for them it has only been a time of struggle.” – Pei Pei Martin

 

However, no one should feel alone during these times, and there are many things to be thankful for. Rye High School graduates are having an impromptu graduation parade on May 31. We are lucky we have technology that enables us to video chat and call our friends and family members, though it may not be as fulfilling as seeing them in person. On top of that, the community has surged to help in any way possible, with programs such as pen pal programs to help fight off loneliness for both adults and children, and with many people volunteering to organize drives and donate to hospitals to help the frontline workers. We’re all in this together, and we will all get through this together.