While the number of virtual classes has decreased this fall in comparison to last semester, feelings of stress related to the pandemic have not. Students across the country are still struggling with the unanswered questions bouncing around their minds such as what to do if campus closes down again. Whether it be stress or loneliness, the pandemic has negatively impacted students everywhere. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that schools have different requirements for mask use and vaccination status depending on location. These inconsistencies make it difficult to know how to navigate the pandemic.
Dr. Kurt Michael is featured in a recent article in 100 Days in Appalachian where he listed a few actionable suggestions to manage these negative emotions. First, he suggests that students get vaccinated. Vaccination not only decreases the likelihood of adverse health outcomes related to COVID-19, but also protects other students on campus. This in turn, facilitates a smoother transition back to in-person learning. He also suggested making efforts to “...move back into more in-person living…”, but not when doing so carries unnecessary or very dangerous risks. Some examples of this are joining a student group/club and socializing (safely) with friends, family, and colleagues. You can read more about Dr. Michael’s recommendations in the article here.