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The Lack Of Face-to-Face Interaction Is Taking A Toll On Mental Health

By Alexis Lundy

This is an opinion column.

The social distancing precautions of COVID-19 have been tremendously affecting my life in negative ways since early March.

This means not seeing loved ones, remaining home from work and rarely leaving the house. From constantly wearing face coverings while in public, to keeping a six-foot safe distance from strangers. Our country is in a national pandemic and college students are suffering the most.

Some students have remained at home to attend classes virtually, while others are back on campus to take classes. This is the time and age to socialize and meet new people, but even that is being frowned upon in recent days.

When the pandemic started, I adhered to all the rules and only left the house for essential supplies. After doing this for three months, I began to see life’s moments being cancelled. Birthdays, graduations and trips were suddenly put on hold. In August, my friend group and I had enough. We decided not to let COVID-19 rule our lives.

Endless media coverage has shown large gatherings both on and off campus in defiance of social distancing guidelines. In response, many people around the country are blaming the spread of COVID-19 on the alleged recklessness of college students, but no one is to blame.

When you look at public sentiment, college students are receiving a bad reputation for not caring about anyone but themselves. There is this belief that all we want to do is go out, drink, be selfish and spread COVID-19. As for my life, this is not the case. Social isolation, anxiety, economic uncertainty, and the daily feed of bad news started to take a heavy toll on my mood in the early days of the pandemic.

I decided that it was healthier for me to go outside than it was to be in the house all day and night. Getting out of the house and interacting with others has been a necessary component in maintaining my good mental health.

Thankfully, no one in my friend group has experienced the virus, so we will continue go out and get tested regularly. Students who must leave the house, remember to follow social distancing rules and wear a face covering. Your mental health is your wealth, and we must exit the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than we entered it.

Go out, have fun and remain safe.

Edited by: Madison Goodgame & Diane Mwai

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Made By Students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham