COVID-19: what’s happening to teenagers?

For some, COVID-19 has brought new opportunities to work from home, spend time with family, and to invest in themselves. However, for others, the onset of the pandemic was more than just a wake-up call. Covid-19 has had a lasting effect on all families, and with so much happening simultaneously, it is important to step back and understand how and why we are being affected.

COVID-19 has infected millions of people thus far, and with no sign of warning, it is time we start acclimating to new societal norms. From working from home to remote schooling, no one is spared from the world’s multi-faceted transformation. 

Teenagers like us and young adults everywhere are becoming increasingly anxious, with some unable to visit separated parents. Countless people are trying to cope with the loss of loved ones who they lost to the virus. Despite the pandemic lasting most of the year, some have still not grown accustomed to these vast changes. Moreover, everyone is susceptible to an adverse effect of COVID-19, some even succumbing to the pressure. 

One of the issues stemming from the pandemic is the youth’s increased anxiety. The University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) states that this is most likely a result of insufficient or absent communication between them and their parents. 

Globally several families are in the same situation. This has resulted in kids and teens forming negative conceptions about the virus and how it affects families. It has led to children becoming concerned, and eventually, stressed about their family’s current financial and social situation. 

UCH recommends that parents be open, honest, and realistic with their kids about their current situation, as a proper understanding of their family’s circumstances will help prevent them from panicking. However, since some parents may be uncertain or even uncomfortable to approach their children with such a topic, UCH urges kids and teens to initiate the conversation with their parents or a trusted guardian instead. 

In some cases, children with separated parents are often under a lot of stress, discomfort, or emotional tension already. Once you add quarantine restrictions, they can become mentally drained or distant, so the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recommends that kids remain in constant contact with both parents, even if that means virtually. In some areas of the world, one is permitted to transfer their child from one parent’s house to another. However, if one of their parents is displaying symptoms, or has an increased susceptibility to the virus, it is likely that they would have to remain isolated in their house with as little contact as possible.

Lastly, many people are suffering from losses as a result of the pandemic. In some cases, people may lose several loved ones to the lethality of Coronavirus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention urges people to do anything but shun the outside world to cope.  People our age, especially prevent themselves from contacting friends, meeting family members, or finding new ways to keep themselves busy during times of severe loss. So, we bottle up our emotions, which eventually become more powerful and find ourselves in deeper stages of grief. 

So, reach out to loved ones, connect and meet new people (safely) online, create, reminisce, or reflect on the memories and experiences you shared with whom you lost, and seek help from others. Many people have suffered the loss of someone near and dear to their hearts. These people will often provide what they did to distract themselves from the stages of grief, but not from tuning out what is happening.

Out of all the aspects of life that have flipped on our heads as a result of COVID-19, we must stay knowledgeable, focused, calm, and rational. Once we lose these key states, we may fall just as fast as the pandemic rose.

Rushita Paladugu is a staff reporter.

Edited by Riya Gupta.

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