It's finally 2021 and we're honestly all just happy that 2020 is over. I decided to ask my Instagram followers how they felt about 2020 and the results were a little more mixed up than expected.
1. How did COVID-19 impact your mental health?
Out of the 16 results, the majority, nine said their mental health was not affected as much whereas seven said their mental health was affected a lot. The majority of the comments indicated some sort of helplessness and guilt that they weren't able to be anything to help in such terrible circumstances leading to so many deaths especially with many people not complying with these guidelines. Anxiety levels and loneliness also rose because of the inability to have human interactions and everyone essentially having no social life.
2. What did quarantine teach you?
During quarantine, I was going out of my mind finding something to do!! I know the rest of my peers have had the same issues as well. It was less about being alone but more about missing the human contact we'd taken advantage of on a daily basis. It was very scary to have to deal with things that were completely out of our control. Not only, but we all had to start navigating online school which sounded very relaxed at first but ended up being a great hassle for us all as we all lost motivation to do the work assignment and to actually learn things as we did in a classroom setting. With this, we learned to actually put effort into everything we do and not to take things for granted as well as focusing on our own wellbeing more.
3. How has COVID-19 impacted your plans for this year?
We all definitely had big plans for the start of the decade and with the arrival of COVID-19 these plans were halted before we had a chance to get started on them. For me personally, it impacted my decision about which college to attend as dorming would be a great issue during COVID as did some of my friends. We were also unable to celebrate major events like birthdays and especially graduation. My fellow 2020 high school graduates and I were extremely upset about losing this moment as well as the senior activities we waited 12 years for. This made saying goodbye and keeping in touch that much harder as we lacked the ability to keep a deep relationship. Additionally, one major thing we all missed out on was traveling. It's always an exciting thing to visit a new place but in 2020 that was a really big reach especially with the travel restrictions, it would be better and safer to stay home.
4. What is the first thing you would do once COVID-19 is over?
At this point, we forgot what it's like to have lived in a COVID-free world. Walking out the door without our masks seems absurd and like we're missing something. We all dream about what we can finally do after COVID ends. First things first, the ability to breathe fresh air without a mask is something we are all looking forward to. This way, we can actually enjoy the fresh air hopefully with a group of friends and be able to take public transportation to explore as well as being able to fly and travel outside of the same places we've been going to these last few months.
5. What do you think about the production of the vaccine?
The production of the COVID vaccine came extremely fast in comparison to the assumptions and time frame we all had in mind. At first glance, it seems as if the vaccine was being pushed too much, and not enough testing was done. It might be giving us false hope that it will soon be ready. It makes sense that we are all so skeptical about it, but at the same time, we're glad it came so quick which will allow us to hopefully resume normalcy soon.
The long-awaited 2021 is finally here and we're all just hoping for the best and the ability to have more in-person events such as going back on campus and social events to meet new people.