The COVID-19 outbreak has not greatly affected my life, but it has affected my mental health. Being stuck at home, not making physical connections with friends or family and everything getting canceled has been very hard for me to accept. I have tried all sorts of coping mechanisms such as exercise, playing outside, keeping busy with schoolwork, and even cleaning. So far exercise and playing outside have worked the best.
My greatest fear during this time would be accidentally hurting someone else in my family. My grandfather has COPD so he is at very high risk. This makes me extra careful and aware of the consequences that this virus could have on his life. This helps me cope with the effects of the virus because I love my grandfather. I use the thought of him and how happy he makes me to help me get through the day. This has not just made me extra careful, my whole family has been extra careful. We have limited our trips to the grocery store, kept our distance from people even when we are outside, and we made homemade masks for everyone in our family.
I have had many disappointments during the stay-at-home order. My spring break trip got canceled, my last behind the wheel, my driver’s test, and I couldn’t spend time with my family on my sixteenth birthday. This all brought me down and made me really sad at first but then I realized, even if I had my driver’s license I would not be able to go anywhere anyways because I’m stuck at home. I am very grateful for my family even though we could not have a real birthday party, we had a Zoom party. It was not the same as being all in the same place but it kept us safe and it kept my grandparents safe. I stay in touch with my friends through FaceTime, Snapchat, and Zoom, but it is definitely not the same as seeing them in person.
To support other people in our school and community I have been checking in with all of my friends daily, keeping in touch with all of them, and making sure they are doing okay. I have been doing some social distancing walks with my friends and other activities where we can stay six feet apart. I stay at home most of the week and I avoid going anywhere just to keep my community safe. Things have changed a lot in everyone’s lives, this is probably really hard for some people and easier for others but we just have to stick together. Hopefully the actions everyone is taking by staying away from people and washing our hands extra will help stop the spread.
Overall COVID-19 has been a very weird and interesting experience no one has had in their life. This virus is unpredictable and we don’t understand it yet, but hopefully. It has had a very big impact on the whole world, the economy is at risk, but it is not the first pandemic that has happened so we will come back from this no matter how long it takes. We as a community are strong and will be able to fight it since we took action so fast.
Share your own story here. Sharing stories is a powerful way to connect with other people. Be part of the Teen Health & Wellness Personal Story Project—like Lara did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.