The Impact of COVID-19 on Students: An Introduction

Saurish Srivastava / July 26, 2020

7 min read–––

Almost 4.3 million cases and rising. 150 thousand deaths and rising. There’s only one word for it — it’s insane — in a matter of months, COVID-19 has become a rampant, uncontrollable global pandemic. There are many articles that list out great articulations of theories as to why this madness occurred at this fatal rate, however, this blog post seeks to discuss the affects of the pandemic on students, particularly high school students.

It goes without question that the high school years are drastically important for the education and future of a student. It’s some of the most crucial years in early years. Unfortunately, with recent efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, students will face a difficult year that will take place both online and in person. There are two unique detriments — the first is that online school has empirically been terrible and that there is repeated uncertainty. To be fair, the online schooling that schools released were very rushed, but nonetheless learning is decreased with online school. It’s very difficult to accurately understand the teacher and learn to your best ability, which obviously have negative effects. Decreased learning leads to a less-educated America which is a major concern. Although I am pointing this out, I admit, I don’t actually have a solution for this — I think this is something that America will just have to deal with and live through till restrictions are lifted. I also don’t think this is necessarily the student’s fault, rather just the environment they have forcibly been placed in. The second (and more general) impact is this uncertainty. When will students return to school? How will school be when everyone is back? Will school be social distanced? When will restrictions be lifted? When will a vaccine be created? These questions have, and probably can not, be answered by officials or leaders. Uncertainty tears students apart and scares them of their future. It has effects your mind to a constant state of worry for the future, which is never good.

I think COVID-19 also has had another massive impact on students. There is not enough social interaction. With restrictions urging students and family members to stay at home, students are a) getting tired of their family members and are developing snappy personalities and b) unable to boast the benefits of key social interactions. Many kids nowadays have developed quick, snotty, and frankly, rude, attitudes due to their hatred towards this quarantine. I do not think that this personality change is well-warranted, however, these personality changes have been developed and can be terrible in the future. Common social interactions are also missing — a huge part of in-person school was talking to students, teachers, and others about a variety of different topics. From each conversation, a person gets more confident and learns certain things about social cue, which is quite necessary. In a world that is already moving away from face-to-face interactions, via methods such as audio calls or FaceTime, COVID-19 has completely shut off majority of face-to-face interactions for the youth.

Many of these affects will be short-term, however, some of them may have lasting impacts. COVID-19 has increased stress in households and students, some leading to psychological trauma. I do think, al beit, that the world will pick up very quickly post COVID-19. It may be a careful environment, but there will be positive changes in society that benefit everyone.

I want to properly reiterate my claims: I do think that these enforcements are necessary till a successful vaccine is found - I simply wanted to point out the change that students must endure and the consequences of this change. I still think that everyone should be wearing masks (please be a good human and wear a mask) and be engaging in safe social distancing practices. Stay safe!

Note: statistics are for the United States.