Mental Health Surrounding the Start of School and COVID

Everyone, teachers and students alike, are having their own struggles regarding COVID

by Eva Rogers, Layout Editor

Many people have been struggling with mental health throughout the pandemic and everything that’s gone along with it, myself included. For instance, being at home for me was really hard. Not being able to work or go to school, I felt isolated and unproductive. 

I have struggled with mental health already, having severe anxiety and dealing with big things going on in the past year. During quarantine I started to develop compulsions and actions to ease my anxiety that hadn’t ever happened  before, at least not to this extent. It started with writing out my day’s plan in 30-minute increments and getting too upset when something didn’t follow this schedule. I would touch my chin to my shoulder three times on each side and turn the light switch on and off before keeping it on. I didn’t realize until my neck started to hurt and my lip was always bloody from biting it constantly. My mom was concerned because I’ve never expressed my anxiety in this way before or this much. I ended up going to a psychiatrist and got diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which was now one more thing I had to deal with during this pandemic. Luckily, the medicine I’m now taking has helped greatly, and with the start of school, having a structure to my day again is also helping. 

In-person schooling was the best choice for me because I can not focus while at home and trying to do school. But, I know some people can’t because of health issues or they do better with online school. Quite honestly, we couldn’t have all done in-person in our school as it’s not big enough to properly distance that many students.

Teachers had a lot of extra things to learn and deal with in addition to their normal responsibilities. Tori Ramsey is an English teacher here at SCHS and had struggles with COVID life like many of us.

“I definitely had a lot of stress that was not normal, I think that’s true for everyone,” Ramsey said. She talked about how there was a lot of waiting in the spring, which then left teachers rushing to get things done. She lost a lot of sleep and avoided leaving home until last minute. 

“There was a lot of extra work and stress because things would be done, and then fixed again when we got new information,” Ramsey stated when talking about how she would spend 12 or 15 hours on work because she didn’t know when to stop.

“The longer I spent alone inside, the more I became afraid to leave,” Ramsey said. She would struggle on whether or not to go out even if it was for necessities, and ended up waiting until the very last minute. When she would go out, she would have a hard time breathing not from the mask, but from being so anxious.

“The start of school sort of disrupted our new COVID routine,” Ramsey explained. Normal interactions became harder to deal with and everyone seemed to regress socially in a way. Everyone got used to being at home and sleeping in, and not having much to do. But, school started and now people need motivation again to get work done.

“I think it would’ve been easier to go all virtual rather than partially,” Ramsey said. She thinks that it would have been safer and easier for teachers to have one thing to focus on rather than trying to juggle virtual and in person students. 

“I thought it was the right answer, and that it would’ve been the safest.”