Op-Ed: COVID-19 and My Mental Health


Jackson Ostrowski

Cartoon by Jackson Ostrowski ’22.

With two weeks off for Spring Break in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic altered my plans, but it would be okay before I went back to school… right?

Well, a month later, I sat at home learning through Zoom. It wasn’t all that bad. I got to wear pajamas to school and start my homework right after school. I wasn’t affected by not being able to see my friends until it was summer.

I had hoped I would spend time with them over the summer, but instead, I spent it inside my bedroom alone. I could’ve gone to the beach or for a bike ride, but I thought doing those things by myself would be lame. I was at my grandmother’s house in Maine, so my cousins would come for a weekend. I still felt down, but I wasn’t alone. 

After two months of being alone in my bedroom, I got my schedule for eighth grade. I was in the same classes as my friends, but I didn’t want to go back to school in person as I was highly anxious about COVID-19. I was relieved when I found out I could stay online for school. School days started to feel shorter, and before I knew it, six months had passed. 

In April, my mom wanted me to go back for the last three months of school for finals and 8th-grade graduation.

I liked learning in person more than online. It was easier to interact with my teachers and peers. It also got me out of the house a lot more, which was great. The days still went by fast, though, and it freaked me out. It felt like I went to school and then home an hour later. 

Though I had a tough time, I had ways to keep my mental health afloat. I listened to music and read a lot. Listening to music and reading let me forget about everything. Laughing and talking to friends made me feel better too. Those things helped me and some of my friends, so try listening to music, reading, or talking to friends if you’re ever feeling down.

I have frequent thoughts about the COVID-19 pandemic never going away and being stuck with it forever. I want to be able to go out without masks and not be paranoid about getting the virus.

COVID-19 changed my world, and it’s hard to think what my life would be like without it. I learned new things about myself and how to cope with my mental health.