By Angie Rickett
It all started in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. When the world was introduced to a new virus. Covid-19 (Corona Virus). Everyone in Shanghai was in quarantine in their houses and kids had to experience home base learning. Then, on September 1st, schools were open again. Alas, 2 years later, 2022, we are back doing the same thing as before. But not only is our physical health at risk, our mental health is too. How is our mental health? Are we passed repair?
I’m just another, average, your typical, 6th grader. Yet I am one of the many sixth grade students experiencing what everyone is feeling in Shanghai during the 2022 Covid-19 outbreak. According to the article, “Anxiety, depression and insomnia: the impact of COVID-19 on mental health,” it stated, “even for those who have not tested positive, lockdown measures have increased feelings of loneliness, isolation, restlessness and anxiety, as millions of people have been quickly forced to adapt to new realities and make drastic lifestyle changes.” Like all humans, adapting is hard because we are not able to reach or access the things and people, we are used to having access to. For example, friends. Kellan Hsu, another 6th grader, and my classmate felt joy by playing board games with his family in quarantine, but over time he lost interest. He stated that “it was fun but after that I just started to miss my friends again.” Some students miss the outdoors. One such student, Tiger Liu, another classmate of mine, was disappointed with not being able to go outside.
That was only the perspective of a few individuals, but what about a majority? Well to answer this, I did a survey of my peers in Middle School at Concordia. In my survey, I asked how students would rank aspects of life that impact their daily life the most. I listed options for them to rank. One thing I noticed was that there was a shift in the things that impacted us most when we moved into distance learning. Of course, school stays on the top with 30.8% of people saying that this impacts them the most. But going down the list of impacts to the second most chosen impact, it comes to digital problems. Screen time limits came in second with 23.1% of the Middle School students putting this as the second-largest impact of their quarantine life. This has become an impact because of home base learning. When we were able to go to campus, we rarely ever used our computers in classes, but now to get to class we need our computers! Concluding us to spend a total of around 7 hours (not including homework) on our computer staring at a screen. With a 15.4% chosen as the third largest impact of their quarantine life is covid testing. This is a more unique experience because this relates to the virus Covid 19. Covid testing has an impact because it has become part of all our routines or something typical. It is an effective way to be able to go outside and take a break from looking at our screens, of course, though it varies from 1-5 minutes to hours of waiting. Coming in 4th is an internet connection, followed up with peace of mind, then maintaining friendships, and lastly food sourcing (I am guessing it is last because this job is done by parents.
But since we are not allowed to go outside and do activities we usually do like socializing, shopping, etc. What has brought us joy? As humans we are, less homework is always an important thing to look forward to. Additionally, we have been doing things that focused our attention on something else, tied for first are the activities of reading a book and watching YouTube/Disney plus/Netflix. Both are great ways to take us away from reality and relax. But what do we need to relax in school? Winning with a 30% is longer breaks between classes. If we do get thing sweet add-on to our day, we can give our eyes a break; and save a few of us from getting closer to getting glasses.
Even though we are stuck at home. Anything bad brings something good with it! For example, a friend of mine (and classmate) Nico Wang got a new pet, a [live chicken] in her [house]. Throughout this time at home another friend of mine, Belle said, “I got to; like you know- do the things that I liked more often.” Additionally, according to my survey, 9/28 of us found a new hobby, as Tiger Liu did. He now enjoys [Calligraphy, stationary, and writing notes] and who knows; maybe more of us will find something new to enjoy too! I remember a teacher once said “this generation will be the most flexible and adaptable of them all” which is true! This pandemic is something that happens once in a lifetime and makes an exceptional story to tell someday!
Interviewees: Kellan Hsu, Tiger Liu, Belle Li, and Nico Wang
depression and insomnia: the impact of COVID-19 on mental health.com. https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/anxiety-depression-and-insomnia-impact-covid-19-mental-health?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsubsmL_y9gIVGT6tBh0-6AajEAAYASAAEgLaIPD_BwE
Mental Health MS Survey, April 2022