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Navigating School and Work During a Pandemic

By Diane Mwai

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, balancing online classes, work, and normal college life causes higher stress and anxiety levels than normal, according to UAB students.

“I learned from summer classes that virtual learning doesn’t work for me and my short attention span,” said Lydia Anthony, a sophomore majoring in psychology.

For students that are used to socializing at in person lectures and labs, COVID-19 has brought that to a near complete halt.

“I’ve worked on my anxiety, so I was looking forward to connecting with other people,” Anthony said.

Anthony is not alone. Like her, Maddy McGee, a junior majoring in nursing, said she’s been hit hard by the lack of physical closeness to others.

“Their outside life might be completely different from yours,” McGee said, “but in that moment, you’re in the same boat.”

McGee, who has also been a patient care tech at St. Vincent’s for three years, said she’s even been affected by the pandemic at work.

“We usually have a bonus that is given after an evaluation, but they did away with that,” McGee said.

However, going to work for some students, like Kaelyn Barnett, a sophomore majoring in theatre, is one of their only ways of socializing.

“Luckily, I enjoy my job and coworkers. Sometimes I even forget that I’m at work,” Barnett said.

In addition to adopting distance learning measures, UAB implements health checks before stepping on campus, enforces wearing masks at all times, and encourages good hygiene among students.

Just like the main campus, Many changes have also been made at the UAB hospital, according to Jonathan Diaz, a sophomore majoring in public health and an employee at UAB.

The hospital has stepped up their protocols with frequent sanitation and limiting how many people can be in certain areas, according to Diaz. Diaz said they strictly enforce CDC recommendations.

“Everyone does wear their mask all the time and hand washing is a big deal,” Diaz said.

Cara Ware, a junior majoring in neuroscience and care tech for COVID-19 patients, said she has witnessed the consequences of the virus and how it has been affecting patients.

“When you’re feeling the physical stress and then you have people who fail to acknowledge it. It’s really discouraging,” Ware said.

Edited by Hannah Warren, Ryan Michaels, & John H. Glenn

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Made By Students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham