COVID-19 Impacts On Teens


Emily Juarez Sanchez , Contributor

COVID-19 was officially declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11th 2020. This drastically changed everyone’s lives, physically and especially mentally. A drastic amount of people lost their jobs and loved ones. Students’ school lives had been a 8:00 am to 3:00pm routine at school, now had to adapt to studying from home. This caused people to lose opportunities to socialize in person. Socializing is an important and key factor in teenagers’ lives, as it helps them relieve stress, feelings of loneliness and learn basic life skills, such as having better communication with others.

As these teens stayed home, they weren’t able to practice their daily physical activities, which caused many teens’ physical health to worsen, as well their screen times to rise. These were issues caused by the quarantine, and it led to school age students to suffer from mental illnesses.

COVID-19 and Physical Health

This quarantine caused many people to develop sedentary behavior. Sedentary lifestyle, or also known as an inactive lifestyle, is when the person has a lifestyle of little to no physical activities. They are mainly sitting down, laying down, watching shows, or playing video games, etc. Some people would call this “a couch potato” person. Of course resting and having fun playing video games isn’t something bad, but practicing this type of activity constantly, without any other active activities, will cause an unbalanced lifestyle leading to weight gain, loss of muscle strength, and poor blood circulation. These indeed are some small health concerns that can be treated easily, but if this is a prolonged lifestyle, it can cause many chronic diseases. Some of these chronic diseases are obesity, heart diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and much more. The increase of these factors caused by the COVID-19 lockdown has concerned society, regarding how this will affect the health of future generations. 

COVID-19 and Mental Health

Mental health is as important as physical health, due to the lack of social interactions teens had for the past 2 years, drastically impacting how they interact with people. Social anxiety in teenagers has increased due to the fact that they were only interacting with their families in person, and no one else. This caused difficulty for students going back to in person school and interacting with people without feeling anxious. Not being able to see friends and other family members in person caused feelings of loneliness, feeling that they’re not heard, and even caused depression symptoms. These symptoms can be seen as loss of motivation, loss of interest in things people usually enjoy, and anxiety as well. This is a condition that is as serious as any other physical condition. Mental and physical health are connected, bad mental health can also worsen physical health- such as someone with major depression may not have good hygiene, directly impacting physical health. If someone with severe anxiety has unhealthy coping methods, such as purging and vomiting, it can affect the health of your teeth and as well as your heart. Most of the time these mental health concerns are put to the side, due to the fact that most people think,“ This is all in their head, nothing is wrong.” Indeed it has to be taken more seriously, especially since these types of health problems have risen due to the pandemic’s lockdown.

What is the world’s response to this? 

Resources for mental health are rising, as well as trying to normalize that having these types of difficulties is okay and acceptable to society. A couple of years back many people wouldn’t be informed about mental health issues and how important it is. Restrictions are dissolving, meaning that people can now socialize and have a better physical lifestyle, and therefore better mental health. During quarantine, it was recommended that people try at home exercises, but this was difficult to do because everyone’s focus was on the virus itself. Basically, people didn’t take care of themselves. The world will never go back as it was before, yes it’s going back to normal, but now this is a different type of normal. We indeed lost a lot of precious lives, but also gained knowledge to keep in mind for a better future. In conclusion, contracting COVID-19 isn’t the only way people got sick during this time period. There were many effects caused by this pandemic and our future generation was widely affected by it.