Even when the world is trapped inside, and East High’s students’ lives grind to a halt, there is a lot we can do as a school to help our community. As boredom sets in, what better way to pass time than help those around you? Social action has been linked to positive mental health, and there are various forms of compassion that may help a student get through these boring and nervous times.
“To pass time, I call my friends and do a craft I could possibly donate.” says sophomore Sarah Amick. “I haven’t gone out in a while, which sucks, but at least I’m not getting anyone sick.”
Of course, as the experts have said over and over, the best way to help those in our community is to just stay home. The new phrase of the day is Social Distancing. By maintaining distance, whether it’s not going to school or staying six feet away from others in a store, everyone can help stop the further spread of Covid-19.
“I think our school could help our community more by better enforcing that students stay home,” says Amick. “We really are just making it worse since we all just decide to go and hang out.”
While students may be feeling trapped inside, one way to reach out to others in the community is through charity. Fundraisers for front-line workers, medical equipment, and those suffering from the virus are just the start. One of the most popular charitable activities, as Amick suggests, is to make masks to protect people from the virus.
Due to health and safety concerns, particularly for those who are at higher risk due to age or medical conditions, the experts suggest everyone wear a mask. Some stores, like hair salons, are requiring them.
According to the World Health Organization, Covid-19 can be passed person to person. This happens when an infected person sneezes or coughs, sending tiny droplets into the air. These can land in the nose, mouth, or eyes of someone nearby, or be breathed in. Because Covid-19 is so easily transferred, protection with a mask is a must. People also can get infected if they touch an infected droplet on a surface and then touch their own nose, mouth, or eyes.
Simply reaching out to others right now will not only help others, but it helps the helper. Helping others increases happiness and our own mental health. It is more important than ever right now to connect to neighbors and friends. The spread of Covid-19 has led to the suspension of some in-person counseling services across the country and many people are just looking for someone to talk to. Students who are feeling scared, alone, or in any way, in danger need to email a school counselor immediately.
Amick recognizes the health of the community is more important now more than ever, and she would like to see the school district be more proactive about student mental health.
“Another change I would make to the school’s response is their responses to checking on students,” Amick says. “This is really hard on everyone’s mental health, and I feel like there’s not been much done about it.”
To help others with recognize their own struggles during the pandemic, Amick took to social media to let others know it was okay to hurt and to seek help.
“I created my ‘School Stuff’ Snapchat story was for a few reasons,” she says. “First, I was struggling finding a lot of resources and people who wanted to help me. Second, was right now is a real stressful time for everyone. Between having to stay home with parents, and teachers not doing much to help, I just wanted to make sure students had someone who could help them. Third, (because) I am just one person, I wasn’t going to be able to help everyone, so I add to the story so people can help others. My main purpose for the story was just to make sure everyone had help.”
Whether it be simply staying home, sewing masks, or creating a full-blown network of social media help, students across the country are stepping up and making a difference. One of the biggest lessons, for Sarah Amick anyway, to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic is that you can always help someone in need.