Quarantine impacts mental health, disrupts daily norms

Jade Sherman

Jade Sherman

COVID-19 has caused a lot of change in everyone’s lives. With Ohio’s social distancing order, home life has changed for a lot of people, teachers and students. However, the majority of people in Ohio have been compliant with this practice, although it can be challenging. 

One big thing about quarantine is the way it impacts everyone’s mental health. For those suffering with anxiety or depression, even before all of this, it was already difficult. People with these issues have  found that this adds to that or worsens it. 

¨I´ve definitely gotten more depressed over quarantine just because I want to go outside with friends and not just by myself or with my family,¨ senior Jadyn Gire said. 

¨…my mood has become more negative because I don’t really know what to do with myself,¨ Annie Roush, senior, added.

According to PSYCOM (including psychology experts), ¨Those suffering from anxiety, depression, PTS, substance abuse, and other forms of chronic mental illness are some of the most vulnerable right now in terms of loneliness, isolation, and potential for self-destructive behavior due to a lack of consistent support and a disrupted routine.¨ 

In addition, without the structure of the school times, sleep schedules have changed. ¨I usually get out of bed around noon and make some coffee, then I go back upstairs… I’ve also started to stay up a lot later too,¨ senior Liz Merkey said. 

¨My routine is really messed up, I fall asleep around 5 p.m. and wake up at 11 pm and then stay up all night or take little naps throughout the entire night,¨ Gire explained. 

Found from the website NIH (National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute), ¨If you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.¨ This causes stress about online school work as well. 

Another important feature that school provided was a schedule. ¨The only problem is because it’s not on a schedule I don’t prioritize it,¨ Roush stated. 

After years of public schooling, an abrupt change to online is not easy. Many fall behind or just give up. 

¨Online school has been tough, I’ve had a lot of trouble with procrastinating and staying on task when I’m trying to get work done at home. It’s also a lot harder to understand what we’re learning in each class without an in-person teacher,¨ Merkey said. Unlike in school, where you could easily ask a teacher any questions, students have to email and wait for a response, or spend hours trying to teach the material to themselves.

¨Teachers dislike this whole process just as much of the students,¨ band director, John Laswell added. 

In addition to the students´ struggles, teachers have also had to adapt to this new way of teaching. ¨It is definitely a different feel now.  In my opinion, it’s a lot  more work to teach online than in a school setting.  There are more challenges than ever making sure students are staying on top of their work. Plus, we don’t get to see you and establish those key relationships that make this job so great!¨ Laswell said. 

Spending eight hours at school, no one is really able to get on their phones that often. However, now that everyone is at home, the technology has definitely increased for most. ¨…my phone is always dying,¨ said Gire. 

¨I’ve always been a bit of a techie, and I like to play video games, etc… but my screen time has doubled since I’ve been home. I probably spend 10+ hours a day working on a screen….then spend another few hours doing something enjoyable,¨ Laswell explained. 

This quarantine has been a rollercoaster for all; no one is used to it. However, some have found that they have been able to relax and find some new hobbies. 

¨…there’s been a lot more time to try and get better at playing instruments, like bass and guitar…. I’ve had an opportunity to relax and do things that I enjoy doing,¨ Merkey said. 

¨I’ve been able to learn a lot about educational technology.  I’ve been able to screen cast, create lessons, as well as produce music videos in the last month.  I’ll be able to use these techniques whenever we go back to school!¨ Laswell added.