How Social Distancing can be Harmful to Mental Health

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, state and federal governments have urged residents to stay at home, what kind of toll is that taking on their health?


Julia Stander

Customers standing six feet apart in line because of new rules of limited number allowed inside stores.

Julia Stander, Editor in Chief

While physical health is important, mental health is just as important. As citizens are trying to protect themselves and others from the Coronavirus, mental health seems to get the short end of the stick. Humans need interactions to survive, so psychologists are urging people to stay in touch with their friends and family through screens. 

While online school seems terrible compared to the way school days used to be run, they are essential in keeping students in a routine, which psychologists recommend, according to the American Psychology Association.

Although, the rainy days here in Seattle are already tough, and seasonal depression is definitely a real thing, the social distancing is needed. According to Yale Medicine, the problem is that scientists don’t know how it spreads, so we must take precautions in all areas; hence the masks, obsessive cleaning and no touching. 

Daily routines also count as essential workers. Building a plan helps to alleviate stress, and avoid it. It’s proven that socially isolated people are less adapted to deal with stress. 

Social distancing is rough, no one that is alive today has lived through a pandemic, and as the days go on, isolation just gets harder and harder. Common side effects include not knowing what day it is, inability to get out of bed, and worst of all, lack of motivation. While school is nearly ending for students, they are already antsy. Throw on top of that no physical school? There’s literally no reason to get out of bed. 

“I did all of my classes from my bed today,” says senior Zach Stone, “I don’t even know what the weather is like outside.” 

Staying in bed all day and staying out of sunlight blocks the body from gaining serotonin, which wakes up the body and actually increases levels of happiness. Serotonin can also make one more calm and focused, making sunlight that much more important during these stressful times.