All over the globe, day-to-day life came to a sudden stop as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated countries. Governments struggled to effectively contain the spread, and obtain the necessary supplies to weather the outbreak. With no vaccine and such a high mortality rate, people are all worried about the safety of themselves and loved ones. This desire for safety and knowledge has given fake news leverage to affect more people, and has also resulted in panic buying. Below, we have outlined good information to know during the shelter-in-place orders and the pandemic.
1. Shortage of Supplies
Thanks to panic buying and disruption of supply chains, many essential supplies and foods were difficult to find. This includes both medical supplies such as masks, and also household supplies such as toilet paper. When out shopping, please only take what you need. Panic buying doesn’t help anyone, and there may be other families or health professionals in need of those supplies.
2. Cross Contamination
If you decide to wear gloves while outside, remember not to touch your face with your gloves. Once you’ve touched something with your gloves, they are ‘contaminated’ and should be treated as such. Anything you touch after that will also be ‘contaminated,’ so keep that in mind! Gloves can be a useful tool in preventing infection, but only if you use them correctly.
3. Why Social Distancing
Stay at home, and minimize contact with people! Try not to leave your house if you can help it. Physical distancing prevents the spread of COVID-19 since the virus can’t reach other people to infect. By social distancing, you break the chain and keep yourself safe.
4. Stay Connected
Just because you aren’t able to physically see loved ones and friends doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out to them. Staying inside for prolonged periods of time is known to increase the chances of depression. Not to mention all the stress surrounding COVID-19, protests, and other recent news.
5. Separate Work and Play
If you are working or learning from home in the coming school year, establish a routine and stick with it! Both working and relaxing in one location can cause people to confuse the two, leading to less productive work and stress even after ‘leaving’ work.
6. Quantify Work
It’s easy for a day, sometimes even a few weeks, to slip through your fingers. Sometimes, staring at the harsh, glaring screen, waiting for a moment of inspiration to hit, isn’t the right thing to do. To feel more productive and establish a set routine, journal, or just mark down what you worked on in a sticky note. Examples include: I studied for the LSAT for three hours today. I wrote a chapter in my novel. I did 30 math problems.
7. Recognize Trauma Response
In the instance of trauma, the body has many responses. This pandemic qualifies as a trauma. For artists, loss of creative expression is a trauma response. Writer’s block hitting is a common occurrence during this time. Remember that you don’t have to come out of this with a fully-edited, polished novel. Take your time in recognizing when you need rest, work, or play.
8. Find Time
Remember those plans you brushed off to the side? You said you had too much, too little time…something along the lines of that. Now is the chance to do what you want. Pick a hobby that you truly want to do. It can be as simple as learning to bake chocolate chip cookies. It can be meditating more often. Either way, this time is a gift. Use it wisely.
9. You’re Not Alone
It’s easy to think back to more peaceful times. You may think Monday is actually Friday, and then sigh upon realizing another week has gone by. Remember that the entire world is experiencing this with you. There are going to be bad days, and there are going to be good days. To combat the bad ones, pick something that helps you. Maybe talk to a friend. Make a new one. Write down what you’re feeling. Work out. Read. Anything that’s part of your process.
How You Can Help
- Donate to local food banks! Many are experiencing food shortages thanks to the pandemic.
- Donate medical supplies to hospitals. Protect the people who save lives.
- Stay informed. Read or watch the news, and see how leaders are responding to the pandemic. Elections are coming up. Remember that your vote counts!
- Help your neighbors. Elderly and immunocompromised people are especially at risk for COVID-19. Ask how you can help them!
- Buy what you need, and leave the rest. Everyone is in the same boat, so make sure you leave some for others!
- Be polite. Many people are stressed and scared at the moment. Essential workers are at high risk for contracting COVID-19. They are the heroes of this pandemic, so make sure you treat them with respect!
Online learning has resulted in many struggles for students. Technical difficulties affect the quality of lectures and activities. One student found that, “Technical difficulties get in the way of lessons,” furthering that communication is poor quality.
For students who come to school for respite from a bad home life, online school is a difficulty and a stressor. Additionally, for public school or scholarship students in low-income families, obtaining video chatting services can be financially taxing. Another anonymous respondent agrees with personal and financial difficulties, saying, “I don’t think work should be graded because different people have different access to resources and family priorities.”
There are many difficulties with online learning in classes STEM-related, where labs are a core activity of the subject. As shown by the pie chart, 70.5% of students in the sample study found that online learning is less effective than in-person classes.
For students with recurring technological difficulties, find an alternative method with your teacher, counselor, or advisor. The same applies to students who have trouble purchasing video chatting services.
For students with bad home lives, keep in contact with friends, and trusted adults at school. If comfortable, confide in them. Together, you can find out a solution to ameliorate the online classes situation.
As for schools, reach out to your students and faculty to ensure mental health and wellbeing. That is the utmost concern during these troubling times.
According to the chart, 50% of students feel that they have more homework now then they did previously with in-person school. Some students say that they “find it more difficult to learn some material on [their] own, so independent work time can be hard sometimes.” This may contribute to the feeling of more homework, since students aren’t feeling as confident on new content. Another student, however, does note that “Teachers have been asked to reduce work.”
For the 13.6% in the sample survey who feel that they received less homework, enjoy the free time, but remember to study and prepare for when in-person classes reopen. Learning specialists worry that class time online will cause shaky learning foundations, so make sure to keep reviewing during the summer!
A little more than a third of all students who took the survey feel that they, or their families, have been overstocking on supplies and food during the pandemic. Not only does this typically not help their family, other families may also suffer because they aren’t able to find the necessary supplies. Medical professionals and essential workers may also be unable to find the personal protective equipment they need to stay safe while working. To combat this, schools can send out information and hold sessions about the coronavirus and effective ways to stay safe, while also explaining the dangers of panic buying.
Written by Melissa Lin and Neha Dubhashi