By Karina Wensjoe
During these bitter times of distance and isolation, the pandemic’s effect has created an entirely
new way of living. American society is accustomed to a different climate and it is damaging
businesses, schools, and mental health. Daily routines have become sluggish. They cease to exist
now. Society has adapted to staying indoors and forgetting about adventuring in the great wide
somewhere. More now than ever, people are struggling with new adjustments regarding
quarantine and social-distancing mandates.
College students have transitioned from in-person classrooms to online Zoom sessions. The
concept of becoming a hermit in your dorm room, house, or apartment behind a screen all day,
with little to no human contact, is not ideal. On top of that, students have assignments
consistently, which creates more alone screen time. Being a college student myself has increased
fatigue, stress, and anxiety. My productivity has weakened and I no longer have the stamina I
used to from being more active before the pandemic. According to the University of Michigan
Psychiatry Department, college students are especially prone to feelings of loneliness, and they
experience higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to the general population. Removal
from school activities, friends, and hobbies has created a disconnection among peers. Students
have become fearful of job applications and the health of their family and friends, all making
college kids more vulnerable to the situation mentally and physically.
Parents on the other hand are struggling with the issues weighing on their kids plus their own
social and economic concerns. Families are stuck together in their homes 24/7 dealing with
online school, remote working, cooking, cleaning, the list goes on and on. Practicing self-care for
parent’s pre-pandemic was hard enough. Now, routines are scattered and the patience parents
once had is dwindling. Also, many small businesses have reluctantly closed amidst the
quarantine phase and even harsher restrictions currently being put into place. Imagining what
those families are experiencing at the moment is unfathomable.
Anyone between 24 to 28, have had their fair share of the pandemic’s modus operandi. Even the
millennials, the singles with no kids, have faced unemployment issues beginning in the spring.
According to Pew Research Center, 35% of Americans between ages 18 and 29, and 30% of
those between ages 30 and 49 say they, or someone in their household, has lost their job. This
goes hand in hand with parents and millennials suffering the most when it comes to
unemployment. Millennials have either been furloughed or completely let go because businesses
could no longer afford to sustain employees. As a result, millenials have filed for unemployment
checks, living out in their apartments or moving back in with their parents. The situation is not
immensely appealing to the typical millennial routine.
The repercussions of the pandemic are grave. Bouncing back from the virus’s effects will be
difficult. Dismantling the pressure post-COVID-19 will be frustrating. Now more than ever do
communities need to come together, be compassionate, understanding, and patient. Adapting to
new routines is difficult but we’re not alone. Everyone is dealing with this right now. And things
could be worse. History has a way of humbling us during times of crisis when the past has been
more turbulent. Nevertheless, the importance of acknowledging the issues occurring in our world
right now is an important step to correcting them.
Karina Wensjoe is an editorial intern who is knowledgeable in all things travel, beauty, and sustainability.