COVID-19 and Mental health.

Are we really losing touch with reality? Are we really forgetting who we were before?

In the last two years, our greatest, invisible enemy has been mercilessly knocking at any door, triggering quarantine and, in some cases, pneumonia.

If a family member is sick, they’re taken to the hospital, leaving their children completely alone. As we know, loneliness and insecurities lead to isolation and possibly depression, which are very common enemies among children and teenagers.

To limit the spread of the virus, we were forced to stay home for a few months.

We saved many lives, but at what cost?

We could no longer go for a walk, breathe some fresh air, students were online schooled and lost the will to practice sports.

Staying home became a habit for many of us and we’re also facing the consequences: we now pay less attention and struggle to read because of the previous constant exposition to a screen; we’re more aggressive, intolerant, numb and teenagers now use their phones up to eight hours every day because they find it stress-relieving.

In fact, smartphones have had an important role in the last two years.

They shaped a new idea of society: a virtual society where anything can be yours just with a click.

It’s scary to think about the fact that in 2008, the Pixar movie ‘’Wall-E’’ predicted this. In the movie, humans live on a floating spaceship with every comfort, but their surroundings are just an illusion made of screens. Video calls substitute human interactions and robots bring them whatever they need (Alexa, is that you?). Mankind has completely forgotten how things used to be before, and yet they are amazed when they learn something ‘’new’’ about their past.

Doesn’t it seem familiar? Our world revolves around a screen, too. We no longer go to local stores because Amazon exists, we don’t need TV because Youtube and TikTok can entertain us, we don’t need to read the newspaper because social media will tell us the latest news.

Instagram and Twitter, in particular, are the “plazas” where many young people virtually live and share their thoughts.

During the pandemic, accounts on those platforms work as a virtual newspaper aiming to inform their followers about the coronavirus, vaccines, safety and they also provide psychological support.

This is one of the most fascinating aspects of social media: the power to help and protect others.

It only takes a post, a meme, a message to understand we’re not alone.

Isn’t it lovely that at such young ages we can make a difference?

This really gives me hope for a better future.

The pandemic has been tough, but if we support each other, it will be easier to carry this burden.

Stay safe, protect the others and yourselves!

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Autore:

Fabiana Presti

Classe:

4°B2 Liceo Linguistico Enrico Medi Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto

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