As this pandemic takes over the world, fear of COVID-19 has placed anxiety on many. I asked my peers what concerns were preoccupying them and collected common responses and tips on how to handle the anxiety that comes during this world crisis.
#1: I am worried that I won’t be able to graduate or have a prom.
For seniors in high school, graduation and prom are two of the most awaited events, traditions that students have looked forward to since watching the romanticized high school films in elementary school. These events are supposed to be the reward for 12 years of hard work and stress, so to have them taken away is painful for a lot of students. However, at this point, there is nothing schools can really do with all of the safety concerns and laws placed by the government. Some schools have moved their graduations online and proms to the summer. There isn’t much of a bright side to the situation, but the least we can do is treasure the time we have remaining with our classmates before we head off to college. Luckily for our media based generation, it’s easy to keep in touch with social media and FaceTime. If there is a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time, I encourage you to reach out and message them first; the longer you wait to take the first step, the farther apart your relationship will be. The people that you haven’t talked to since school ended are the same people that you won’t keep in touch with when you leave your home for university.
#2: I am worried that I or my loved ones will become sick.
The only measure to take against becoming ill is to stay home and protect yourself. However, not everyone has the privilege to just stay home, as they may need to work at their essential businesses. While we can’t control to who and where this virus spreads, following government issued laws about staying home and health measures are necessary to lowering the curve.
#4: I am worried that being quarantined will be harmful for both my mental and physical health.
Finding a hobby or activity that challenges and pushes you is one way to keep your mind and body stimulated. The first step to working out is always the hardest, but pushing yourself to get up and start is the only way you can make it a habit. When we are sitting at our desks or lying in bed all day, gaining weight and becoming unfit is natural, especially with the kitchen only a few steps away. It took me two months at home in quarantine to make exercising a habit, but finishing a workout really does improve mood, as well as taking your mind off of the problems of the outside world. It can be difficult to remember, but while COVID-19 is something you can’t control, your body is something you can. Eating balanced meals and getting sunlight are major parts of keeping yourself healthy.
#5: I am worried that I will face racism because of my skin color.
Media reports of attacks on Asian people and even the president’s racist comments on the “Chinese virus” fuel discrimination. It’s sad that people have to be afraid of going outside in fear of being attacked for being Asian. Xenophobic violence and discrimination shouldn’t have to be an issue in a time of worldwide pandemic, but not adding to the fuel of this discrimination is needed to prevent future attacks.
Life has changed drastically in the past few months because of this pandemic, but keeping a positive mindset is the best we can do to combat our worries midst the turmoil.
Tenafly High School