Looking Back at the Effects of Quarantine 2 Years Later

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Original Artwork by Xiomara Villalvazo

Two years ago this March we all experienced something that hopefully won’t happen again for a very long time:. We were forced to isolate and quarantine because of a virus that ravaged and caused the world to come to a halt. It affected us in many different ways:, some didn’t feel much of a difference because they would normally stay indoors all day anyway, but there were others that felt secluded and distressed. I was part of the latter group.

For the first couple of months I felt like I couldn’t do anything that I wanted to. I felt alone, secluded, and anxious about the severity of the virus and whether I was at risk. The school was also something that felt completely different and alien to me. It didn’t even feel like school anymore. Students were not doing the work because they didn’t have the motivation to learn since they were in the comfort of their own homes. I personally felt like my learning was hindered in distance learning, admittedly part of it was my fault because I was lazy and didn’t want to get out of bed. But also because I had too much freedom. to do the work whenever I want. 

The quarantine also had, and continues to have, extreme effects on student’s mental health. During quarantine, people were more prone to developing mental disorders. Some of the mental disorders people could obtain were depression and anxiety about the virus itself. In the beginning we didn’t know anything about COVID-19 and so it scared people a lot more since they didn’t know how severe it is and how harmful it could be. The National Health Commission put out a set of guidelines to follow while in quarantine and within it, they emphasized the importance of psychological crisis prevention experts, and for them to help people through quarantine and the mental toll that it takes. 

Overall I would say that it hurt my performance in school. I got slightly worse grades than the year prior. I felt like I had no one to talk to besides my mom and brother, so I felt so alone and deserted. I would call my friends when I would feel bored and lonely, but that wasn’t the same thing as going over to see them in person. But there were a few upsides to me being at home all day. Previous to quarantine I felt like my life was going by so fast and I barely had any time to have fun or to just relax. I was so busy with college stuff, homework, trying to keep up with my grades, and just life in general. And then I had so much free time while in quarantine., I had fun playing video games, watching movies, and I could actually relax for once and take things one at a time. I even had time to pick up a new hobby, I started learning how to play the guitar, and it brought me a sense of accomplishment when there was barely any to spare while isolating. I dedicated a lot of time to be better at playing it and I was happy that I came out of quarantine with a new skill instead of just doing absolutely nothing. 

All in all, everyone took quarantine in a different way. Whether you picked up a new hobby like cooking, reading, or working out, there was no right or wrong way. It also affected us in so many ways, not just mentally but also how we see the world. I’m sure that we are all more aware of our hygiene after having to wash our hands constantly and after wearing a mask for two years. I know I still have the effects of it, I constantly am still thinking about whether i’m being safe and if I’m putting other people at risk. The pandemic is something that a lot of people will never forget and something that will stick with them for a long time. 

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