Covid’s Impact on Mental Health

Brenna Harris, Reporter

Did Covid negatively affect your mental health? Well, you’re not the only one.

Covid affected people in a variety of ways whether it was depression, anxiety, or even just social skills.

According to “Plenty of us became more anxious: but for some COVID-19 has sparked or amplified much more serious mental health problems. A great number of people have reported psychological distress and symptoms of depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress.”

In the first year of the Pandemic, depression, and anxiety increased by a massive 25% globally, according to

But I think many of the symptoms already existed, and Covid compounded them to make us a far less healthy country. 

According to my interviews, most people who suffered from anxiety after the pandemic had anxiety beforehand.

Freshman Olivia Shumate said “Before Covid, I was very anxious at school and didn’t want to go because of toxic people, you know? And I spent most of my time online, but when I went out in person I was extremely anxious.”

As we all know Covid forced us into isolation with everyone being cooped up inside. This of course resulted in an increase of social awkwardness.

According to United Nations, “Social and physical distancing measures, lockdowns of businesses, schools, and overall social life, which have become commonplace to curtail the spread of the disease, have also disrupted many regular aspects of life, including sport and physical activity.”

In addition to increasing anxiety and depression, Covid isolation and fear of leaving home also had the exceptionally negative effect of increasing existing problems in the home.

I remember hearing in news reports that the isolation caused many people to turn to drugs and alcohol which resulted in further addictions or created new ones.

In addition, being locked away increased domestic violence; there are numerous studies outlining the disturbing increase in abuse. People under high stress, unable to reach out to other resources, and in constant contact with partners was a perfect storm.

The Harvard Gazette said, “When people are working outside the home, interactions with their partner are limited to certain hours of the day, and the potential time for conflict is also limited. In a lockdown, not only do you take away those breathing spaces, but you also increase the dynamics where domestic violence can occur.”

A less severe effect of Covid and the lack of human interaction was an increase in social awkwardness. 

After hiding behind a screen or a phone for so long, I didn’t remember how humans were supposed to behave and interact in person.

Swimmer Audrey Umsted said, “I think Covid affected my social awkwardness and kind of how to talk to people, and being in my house all the time and being lonely made me feel depressed at times. I definitely felt closed off and disconnected from people and even when we went out, everyone stayed away and everything felt so sad and depressing.”

So Covid became the fuel for ongoing issues: anxiety and depression, financial crisis, addiction, domestic violence, and social awkwardness to name only a few. 

And yet the cherry on top was the fact that people did not seek necessary medical help or attention for the non-covid related issues identified above, because they were too afraid to leave home. 

I believe this also leads to people having health-related anxiety such, as hearing other people sneeze, cough, etc.

It was a weird feeling to return to almost normal social functions or not to wear a mask in public.  I was petrified to be around large groups of people again and wasn’t exactly sure how to act.  I was quite anxious to return to school and other social activities and felt very socially awkward.