We are nearing the two year point from when the first COVID-19 case was discovered in the United States. Throughout the highs and lows of the pandemic, the effects on the mental health of many has taken a toll across the board from the exhaustion of the looming pandemic that doesn’t seem to have a end in sight.
While last week I have stated what COVID has helped me rediscover from myself, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t still easy to manage my independence in the looming pandemic. While I am grateful that many things have resumed as close to normal as they have almost two years ago, it in many distinct ways has been a change that many are still struggling with. Many things that we did prior to when the world stopped have been eliminated or modified. We are reminded of this in many of the establishments that we visit regularly as many of them do things differently as a result of the pandemic.
Furthermore, with the constant precautions that we have to take by wearing PPE such as face masks and the now not as apparent distancing markers, we are continually reminded and live in fear that it could go back to that state of mind, although at least in my commonwealth that actions such as those will not occur as they proved to not be healthy.
While I do admit that they were in no way healthy, as a result in many cases, when those actions occurred, the cases were limited. Now, almost two years later in my county, I have seen the record number of cases that I have seen in the entire pandemic. It scares me. I must work and go to day program to continue to work. I know I cannot ruminate and fear about COVID. I must do what is necessary by following all protective measures that I know I can do my best.
However, by the disappearance of many things that as people as a whole have become used to have been gone from the routines of our daily lives has caused some type of mental health challenge in many of us. For those autistics and many with mental health challenges prior to the pandemic, those symptoms have worsened to a degree from the initial shutdown then modification of services that we are dependent on to being who we are.
Furthermore, learners have been challenged during the pandemic, with the remainder of the 2019-20 year learning remotely in many cases, then hybrid in many cases the following year. While there is some steady attendance this school term, it doesn’t mean that it comes easy. With cases, quarantines, lack of faculty and staff, etc. Some school districts in my area have modified their instruction to virtual when necessary for this reason. Additionally, learners are so far behind in their learning and as a result there are many issues that arise from their inability to retain or follow with learning.
With a world that is as typical as a world as we had two years ago, it is presented as life is becoming more challenging as the pandemic trudges on past its second anniversary. There are several challenges that not only autistics, but those in general have experienced as a result of the pandemic. It is very important to take care of your mental health in these trying times. Having experienced all the things that I have experienced in the near two years has taught me that more than anything, to be resilient and take time for me when I need it because I cannot function without taking care of my mental health.