Post Pandemic Procedure: Better or Worse?

Aashvee Vij

In March of 2020, a fearful declaration shook our society and changed our lives in more ways that we would have begun to imagine. Two and a half years later, we have fallen into a routine that closely resembles the way we lived before this pandemic began. But has society been able to recover completely or can we still feel the lasting effects?

While the world was swept by an infectious disease, another common illness came to light in the midst of our isolation. As a result of the lockdown and quarantine policies, along with the travel restrictions, many people found themselves separated from their family and friends. The lack of social interaction led to an uptake in anxiety and depression among young adults specifically. As reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use and elevated suicidal ideation.” While we have returned to schools, to offices, and more frequent social interactions, the rise in mental health issues has led to awareness. Teachers, employers, and families have all become more aware, and realized the severity of which mental health issues can go. Increased awareness has led to more open environments, and helpful resources to be more accessible.

A more negative impact that this pandemic has had on students specifically is a large gap in education. The year we spent learning online, students in kindergarten and first grade were trying to not only learn the academic content, but they were also trying to figure out how to work the online platforms. They were also not given a chance to learn some of the fundamentals we learned as elementary students. Online learning also hindered younger students’ ability to converse and socialize, which had led to communication barriers among newer students. Learning was also more difficult. Scores dropped, teachers were forced to teach slower resulting in less yearly content coverage. The year students returned it was much harder for them to pick up new topics as they hadn’t been able to learn anything.

In the 29 months since the pandemic began, we have, as a society, been able to recover. But the journey to normal is far from here. Education gaps need to be dealt with, younger students need to be taught how to interact, many of the people who lost jobs during the height of the pandemic still have not been able to find jobs again, and the economy is yet to recover fully. But on the other hand this pandemic has allowed people to connect more with loved ones, it has brought awareness to mental health, and has resulted in technological advancements to accommodate most situations. But while some say society has changed for the better, a true question is did it really?

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