How Covid Has Affected Teachers and Students Mental Health

How Covid Has Affected Teachers and Students Mental Health

Jaskaran Singh, Staff Reporter

There is no doubt that this pandemic has been an appalling and stressful time for some people. For students and teachers alike, there are both positives and negatives. 

“The virus has affected me in a way where I could connect with family and learn more about past pandemics,” says Deep Run High School student Aaron Jamaledine. 

Like other students, Aaron has faced some challenges during this pandemic.

“The challenges I had to face were to social distance myself from people, which is hard to do because I love talking to people around and getting to know more about their lives,” he said. 

However, Aaron has been able to adjust well enough to this pandemic.

“I’m getting used to wearing a mask every time I step foot outside like walking the dog, going to the grocery store, and at the end of my soccer practice,” he said.  

With local businesses and schools reopening, Aaron continues to wear a mask and take caution. Students are not the only ones experiencing ups and downs during these strange times.

Teachers have also been struggling with the pandemic, but are finding hope and goodness. Sheila Pope is a school social worker for Thomas Dale High School,  and has been coping well during the pandemic.

“I am very happy to be back working in the building. The biggest impact for me has been missing the students,” she said. “I have a private space to work and I am comfortable with wearing a mask and the janitorial staff have been doing an outstanding job, so I am not concerned at all about my safety.” 

A crucial part of Sheila Pope’s job is participating on the Child Safety Team.

Normally Sheila conducts meetings for the Child Safety Team in person, but has had to move these meetings to the virtual setting.

“Now I have to interview parents over the phone. It’s generally quicker that way, but more fun in person,” she said.

Sheila is helping by bringing together students and families with needed support from the community. 

The loss of income due to the pandemic has caused some families to “struggle to afford basic necessities like food, clothing, heat, water, and electricity.”

Sheila helps make the connection between churches and community organizations that want to provide support to those that need it.

“I make multiple calls a day to families because children need these basic necessities to be able to focus and learn.”

COVID-19 has caused many people like Pope to experience highs and lows. “In some ways I was grateful that the world slowed down so that we could catch our breath and focus on very important things, like being kind to one another and taking care of our health,”she said.  

Sheila was concerned about her college aged children and whether they would be able to go on campus.

“Life on campus is different, which is unfortunate,” she said.

Like all seniors that were part of  the Class of 2020, many students couldn’t celebrate their ceremonies or graduation due to the uprising virus. Sheila has a son, who was a senior last year. 

“For him, it was his senior lacrosse season, prom, and graduation, but it was great how the school did everything that could possibly be done to make it special, ” she said. 

     Sheila feels blessed however expressing, “I feel fortunate that no one I know has been seriously impacted by the disease and I feel fortunate that my job makes it possible for me to help others.”  

All teachers and students have been through some highs and lows throughout this pandemic. However, if we stay strong and help each other we can get through this pandemic and hopefully return to the normal world we used to know and love.