The Effects of Social Distancing


Image Credit: Pedro Mezzini

Liz Steddin

You wake up, well rested, and for a blissful moment feel charged and ready for the day you are about to face. That feeling comes crashing down as you begin to remember the effects of COVID-19, and the fact that the entire world is in quarantine; no one is allowed to leave their house. 

At this point, many people feel a severe lack of motivation and isolation. By nature, humans are social creatures, so without in-person interaction, society is stunted. 

The longer social distancing is enforced and ingrained into our lives, the more sadness will come into people’s lives, as they become distanced from the normality of daily social interaction. 

“People start getting lethargic when they don’t have positive inputs into their small worlds,” says John Vincent, a clinical psychologist at the University of Houston. “We can expect depression to kick in, and depression and anxiety are kissing cousins.” 

No matter your situation during this period of social isolation, there are many positive outlets that can be utilized to improve the experience of distancing.

Exercise is a common mood-booster, and although access to gyms has been cut off, at home, personal workouts can make up for the common lack of physical activity stemming from the shelter-in-place mandate.

Novato High senior Cassidy Rodgers recommends creative patterns and a sense of normality during this time of uncertainty. 

“Make a schedule, and then keep to that. Don’t stop showering, or working out, or whatever it is you need to live. If you fall into laziness, it’ll all spiral downhill from there,” she said. 

People are facing a lack of control in their own lives due to the impact of this worldwide pandemic, so making sure one continues to steer their own lives and maintain direction is vital. Creating projects and putting energy into outlets that grow oneself is a great way to regain the strength that many people have lost recently.

Luckily, no one is in this alone. Reaching out to those you know aren’t thriving in this new environment (extroverts!) is a good way to ease the pain of others, as well as yourself. This has been a true test for the world as a whole, but with any luck, we will come out of it stronger and with a renewed sense of unity.