In The Shadow of The Pandemic

By: Nia Jackson

Photos: Unsplash; Toby Wachter, William Iven

“Relationships such as family members, friendships, and spouses have been distancing themselves away from society to stay hidden from the virus; but how does that affect their mindsets?”

If you can describe 2020 in one word, what is the first thing that comes to mind? What event has been present for the majority of the year? The pandemic concerning Covid-19 would be classified as the most worrying topic currently around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, current studies show the virus rates have been increasing during the first two weeks of October. Relationships such as family members, friendships, and spouses have been distancing themselves away from society to stay hidden from the virus; but how does that affect their mindsets?  Does it really change their mental state negatively or is it just a hoax? After doing research on this topic, I have discovered many sources of ways of how social distancing can truly take effect on a person’s emotional state during the quarantine period; they all have the same opinion on how it can negatively and positively take shape on minds.

Published on Wired, the article “What Coronavirus Isolation Could Do to Your Mind (And Body)” created by a specialist in internet culture and propaganda, Emma Grey Ellis wanted to reveal to an older and mature audience how the minds of people are changing due to isolation away from others. When left alone, the human mind starts to shift a bit in emotions and could possibly affect our mental health. As stated in the article, “…experts suggest that the negative feelings and experiences associated with prolonged isolation will come for us all.” This article provides the mature and older audience with information gathered from researchers in the mind to reveal how social distancing away from others can change a person for the better or worse. “Perhaps even more concerning is that the psychological strain of loneliness manifests physiologically, too. Harry Taylor, who studies social isolation in older adults.”; this reveals that even experts know how damaging it can be to separate yourself from society, which can also change a person inside. Emma Grey Ellis wants to share exactly how the human mind can change during the pandemic and how effective it is to separate a person from society.

The article “Stress from the pandemic can destroy relationships with friends-even families” published in the Washington Post was originally created by the American author, Kathrine Ellison to provide people who are worried about relationships falling apart with information regarding how the pandemic can mentally affect connections. Ellison provides the article with quotes from people who feel like their relationships with family and friends are mentally draining their relations, and also examples of why the relationships are dangerous during the pandemic.  In the beginning, the writer decides to share with the reader that “You’ve started to size up friends and relations as potentially lethal threats”; meaning that you are affecting your own safety by creating these links and staying around them. “People have stopped inviting me places because they’re worried I won’t come, which is true,” says Jennifer Renner, an office worker in Berkeley, Calif. Many people are trying to stay protected away from this virus because not only would it affect them, it would also affect loved ones and people you might also live with. Ellison developed this article to show the audience how terrible it is to start connections during the pandemic and how stressful it is to stay protected/hidden away from Covid-19.   

The final source was an article I found that specifically shows what might happen to a person’s mind during quarantine and isolation from everyone; this article may be short but it was very helpful in showing what emotions are being present to some people. Published on The Medium, the report “Social Distancing and Mental Health” created by the Washington State Department of Health reveals to the worried audience about how their negative emotions are forming during the pandemic and how to cope with them. According to the article, “Being isolated from other people can make our physical and mental health worse and can trigger anxiety and depression.”; the writer believes in separating ourselves from society can be a trigger to anxiety and depression about issues such as connections, keeping self-clean away from the virus, career, and additional stress. Coping methods were shared in the article to reveal how to deal with these emotions during the pandemic safely away from others in physical contact; The author states that people should “Avoid watching, reading, or listening to news reports that cause you to feel distressed or anxious…stay connected with others and maintain your social networks…Structure and routine may be helpful for people with mental health vulnerabilities, especially during times of uncertainty…”. This article may be small but it does provide specific emotions people tend to feel during the pandemic, where it is coming from, and how to cope with it during the quarantine. 

The articles provided for this research explains to the mature, worried, and even scared audience how social distancing can affect connections with other people and how it can change a person’s emotional state during the quarantine period. All of the reports have been similar in showing the different types of emotions being shown during the events happening and why they result in it. They all differ in detail and research evidence provided to show their reasoning, but they all support the same topic in the pandemic changing their lives. Many people handle things differently during some events, so some articles might have an effect on them but not as much as the others. Each source has provided my topic with great evidence on how the Covid-19 social distancing rule changes lives concerning their connections with others and the safety of their own mental and physical health.

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