COVID-19 & Mental Health

Published 12 months ago -

By Naima Rauf, Staff Writer

The effects of COVID-19 have been horrendous on our mental health. With millions of cases across the United States and billions worldwide, almost everyone in our society has been affected in one way or another. Some with the virus themselves, and others stuck in isolation or kept away from their pre-Covid activities in order to keep everyone safe. After interviewing several students at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts, there is a general consensus that COVID-19 has had negative effects on students’ mental health.

As one student stated, “I hated being in isolation, I was anxiously waiting for it to be over so I could go back to life pre-COVID and stop myself from being depressed.”

But little did we all know, nothing would ever be the same, especially for our mental health.

COVID-19 was an unexpected event that changed our daily lives forever. With a sudden breakthrough in Wuhan, China and tensions arising from within the White House out to the rest of the country, the many unknowns of this pandemic spiked cases of anxiety for those who may not have been diagnosed to it prior to this.

As a result of the long isolation times and safety of public health, the closure of public and private facilities like schools, parks, and malls, and indoor activities in general being advised against, many individuals also expereinced symptoms of depression.

However, because of both the pressure on healthcare facilities to assist and their remote operation, getting in contact with the appropriate mental health counselor to share these health problems and proper diagnosis was becoming more difficult and had longer wait times.

For some students who were used to going to a public, social environment, this led to depression and issues focusing on class because all the sudden they were stuck behind a computer screen and felt like the release hard work online. The distress of knowing that there is a dangerous virus out there with no end solution insight or a vaccination that has proven to be 100% effective on society increased anxiety even more. For those stuck in domestic violence households and struggling to find shelter, COVID-19 was disastrous for their situations. Some found themselves seeking shelter and other family members houses and others struggling in silence as they remained in violent or abusive situations because of COVID-19 and the mandated laws advised by the government to keep the public safe.

Alongside this, post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger were common feelings and emotions reported throughout this ongoing pandemic. Being stuck in the same environment for a long duration of time or having minimal to no contact with the outside world and society lead some to posttraumatic stress and others to develop temporary anger issues because of this frustration.

And for those who did experience COVID-19 themselves, some reported short term memory loss and concentration and focus issues, as well as a major increase in depression and anxiety for a lot of society.

But not all effects were extreme and prominent. Some Assumption University students also reported that they felt major boredom due to this. For the elderly and others with compromised health conditions, wearing a mask wasn’t working in their favor as they some had asthma or other breathing conditions, which caused fear in their eyes for their own well-being and protection from the virus but also conditions. The coronavirus also put a major strain on the government to provide for everyone in society who was experiencing some sort of financial deficit. Some aids included Joe Biden’s decision extend loan times due to these financial spikes, and other state level helps such as coronavirus relief funds and free PPE for those who are struggling to find it.

Although coping with COVID-19 has been a struggle for all bodies in society in some way, for the younger generations, it is even more difficult because this is important time in their life where they need to learn how to interact with others and be in person as they are visual learners, not being able to be in a classroom has made it confusing for many children to understand what is going on. And for those who are still required to return to their classrooms, wearing a mask is a difficult challenge for some children and as much as administration in school facilities try their best to keep students safe, parents still fear it’s for the safety of their children which has led to several protest around the United States such as Chicago from troubled parents to concern teachers and others in society who fear health and safety of their younger children and carrying the virus to the elders in their household who do not have another place to stay safe.

Overall, COVID-19 has had negative effects on mental health, and this impact is continued to be felt today. As advice given from therapists and counselors online who have specialized in mental health counseling, make sure to get at least 30 minutes of activity a day, go outside with the proper mandated social distancing as advised by society and get fresh air, jot down how you are feeling in a journal as it can help you cope with your feelings and understand what is going on. The CDC has lifted many guidelines that were first advised with the first strain of coronavirus, and it seems that we have light at the end of the tunnel, but it will take cooperation from society to reach it.

32 recommended
bookmark icon