How Has Quarantine Affected The Mental Health of Students

Friday, March 13th, 2020 was the last day of our physical presence at Norwalk High School and one of the first few days of a starkly different reality for the American nation. As a result of all of the unanswered questions, the atmosphere was eerie, as classic horror movie giggles filled the halls at the sight of students in hazmat suits.

 Ever since the school caught word of COVID-19, America was warned of the physical toll. So the question stands, how has quarantine affected people’s mental health? 

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll conducted in mid-July, “53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. This is significantly higher than the 32% reported in March … Many adults are also reporting … difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.” 

However, not only adults experienced an impact. Within our very own community, several teenagers recount the negative impacts COVID-19 and quarantine had on their mental health. Kareena Singh (23’) stated, “It was twisting because I felt like I was reliving the same day. [I] hated it.” 

For people whose mental health is suffering due to the impacts of quarantine and COVID-19, the CDC recommends healthy ways to cope. The organization recommended for Americans to “Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, take care of your body, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, avoid excessive alcohol and drug use; make time to unwind, try to do some other activities you enjoy; connect with others, connect with your community- or faith-based organizations [whilst minding social distancing],” 

Danielle Garcia (23’) and Edwin Zarate (23’) described ways they coped with the negative impacts of quarantine. Garcia said, “As an overthinker quarantine scared me at first, and being alone for so long has been a struggle but I learned many ways to surpass this and coped by taking up new hobbies such as baking.” Zarate said, “I saw this as an opportunity to better myself and started to work out.” 

Many of us can say that the severity of the entire situation couldn’t have been predicted, and the quarantine period was a unique experience of which we can only hope that everyone was able to make the best of.