The Pandemic’s Effect on Teenagers

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Students have said that just seeing X’s on desks, and wearing masks around their peers gives them anxiety.

Ever since March 13, 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has affected lives across the world, especially to high school teens who have had to switch to online schooling, forcing them to social distance from friends. Stress has become a common issue with fear of the virus while doing schooling and having other activities to worry about. All this stress from the past couple of months has caused students to feel “depressed”, “dul”l, and “different.”

Sophomore Cate Martino, a 15 year-old, states, “I definitely have felt pretty stressed over the past couple of months with the transition to online learning because I feel like I learn better in person.”

Mental disorders like depression and anxiety are both leading problems for teens’ mental health nowadays. According to The Washington Post, 15.7 percent of children struggle with anxiety and 10.7 percent struggle with depression. Both of these issues are an effect of stress and the past summer break has not seemed too much of a stress reliever because of the  guidelines the country is still following for the pandemic.

“Pandemic fatigue is real…and when you add to that the stress of parents who might be losing their jobs, people could getting sick, there’s this general fear, there’s this division on how we should respond to the virus, and whether it should be scary or not. All these things to navigate while still handling the stress of a normal teenager,” said Faith Lutheran counselor, Mrs. Burns.

The ongoing activities and responsibilities for teenagers are still something they have to worry about. Students this year have had their homecoming and sports seasons be pushed back or cancelled. Fall, winter, and spring sports are still a question but may still happen starting January. If schools get the clear on when they are able to go back to sports by January, the sports will be put in a shorter season in order to fit all activities by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. These funky schedules and uncertainty of normal sport seasons leaves teen athletes like Cate Martino in doubt.

“When swim practice was cancelled in March, it was hard because I didn’t want to fall behind or get out of shape while I was gone,” said Cate Martino, an athlete at Faith Lutheran.

Faith Lutheran has been trying their best to keep students in schools every other day with their A-L and M-Z cohort learning schedule. While being able to show up on campus every other day, Faith Lutheran students are able to still participate in pre- season practices for sports, clubs, and events the school has put on for them while staying healthy and safe.

The school is also working on caring for their student’s mental health by doing the online depression screening that was held on October 21st and the 26th, which was an online survey to check in on their student’s mental health.

Especially in the Faith Lutheran community, it is important to stick together for healing. The pandemic may go away but the damage will still remain and we need someone to help us heal. The counseling department wants to urge anyone reading this that needs to talk,  do not hesitate to come talk to them. Washington said, “I think our caring at Faith Lutheran has come to the fact that we do pray for students.”