Students test positive for anxiety amid pandemic

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Samantha Kosman

There are many different factors that are causing people to have anxiety during this time.

As people strive to create a new normal in the midst of the pandemic, for many, unsolicited anxiety holds them back from doing so.

The worries concerning COVID-19 has allowed for skyrocketing rates of anxiety throughout the pandemic, taking a tremendous toll on mental health among many. Elevated levels of angst are creating a more profound feeling of loneliness, adding on to the physical isolation forced upon people.

“The feeling of being alone has always been a fear of mine, so without my friends, I was stuck to bottle everything in,” said Sophia Bardales, a sophomore at Carlmont. “There was no little opening for it to spill out anymore.”

With the death of Qasem Soleimani, the impeachment of Donald Trump, the death of Kobe Bryant, and countless others, anxiety levels were already high in early 2020, even prior to the beginning of quarantine.

The overwhelming fear of this unknown virus became a constant source of anxiety with unlimited factors, further adding to high tensions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 30% increase in anxiety disordered feelings.

Although the implementation social distancing orders help to lessen the spread of the virus, these efforts exacerbated the feeling of isolation present before the pandemic.

Susie Robertson, MD, said, “People are really isolated, more isolated than they were before, and that contributes to lots of anxiety because the things that help people cope with anxiety are now taken away from us.”

Along with confinement faced by the world, the unpredictability of the pandemic has caused unbearable amounts of anxiety, according to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.

Cynthia Florin, MD, said, “There are just seemingly endless, very powerful uncertainties in our world. So, I have not seen a diminution of anxiety from the heightened levels of anxiousness that were created by the pandemic.”

The infinite amount of uncertainty revolving around this pandemic has a vast impact on everyone’s mental wellness, leading to people feeling a lack of control in their lives. The absence of knowledge concerning a topic that directly affects most people can dominate their thoughts, giving a scattered sense of control.

As most of the population had little to no say in the actions pursued to tackle this pandemic, many felt that they were not in control of the occurrences in their lives.

“I can’t control the pandemic, so I freaked out about it,” said Maria Valle Remond, a junior at Carlmont. “So it’s just like a lot of not knowing and not being able to control it in general.”

The never-ending list of reasons behind the anxiousness that comes with this pandemic and the obstacles that people must tackle are troublesome. The adjustment to this new lifestyle is incredibly abnormal, making it extremely important to prioritize mental health.

The future of COVID-19 is unpredictable, but hopes are high for the outcome of the upcoming election to affect the next steps made to eliminate this anxiety-filled pandemic.

“The most important thing to remember is you’re okay now,” Florin said.

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