As impacts of the global pandemic, COVID-19, continue to spread, young people are having to worry about things like the health of their families, their workplaces/schools closing and not having access to necessities at grocery stores.
11-year old Jade Gomez said she is worried about her older family members the most.
“They do not have the best immune system so if they were to get it, it could be fatal,” Gomez said.
So far in Gomez’s community of Odessa, nobody has tested positive for the coronavirus, but their governor has issued executive orders in accordance with federal guidelines issued by President Donald Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include things like avoiding social gatherings of 10 or more people and practicing social distancing of six feet.
“You could go to a store and look for a necessity and it wouldn’t be there because people are panicking,” Gomez said.
“I think the younger generation should just put in more thought into what they are doing and not being sick around elders.”
SCHOOLS CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19
Gomez said she is concerned for her education and classmates as well because her school canceled their state’s student-testing program, STAAR, this year.
“My school has gotten canceled for two weeks,” Gomez said. “Going into my next grade, I will not have all the knowledge that I am supposed to have had because (my school officials) are basically giving us a vacation.”
Gomez’s older sister and university freshman, Jackie, voiced how she has been impacted by several workplaces cutting employees’ hours and wages.
“I am a barista at a local, family-run cafe and I used to work around four shifts a week but my manager had to shorten them to one to two,” Jackie said. “Although this is happening to most employees around the world, I am still afraid to make my bills and tuition.”
STIGMA AND MENTAL HEALTH
Jackie said even though the virus is all people seem to be talking about, she has still noticed a strong taboo/stigma surrounding it, and said that having to stay home has affected her mental health negatively and she has had to build an at-home routine to stay positive.
“There is a difference between being alone in order to get motivated and accomplish things versus feeling completely isolated,” Jackie said.
“Obviously everyone should be staying home and practicing clean habits, but I think people still need to emphasize how feeling locked inside is not good for a lot of people. We need to continue bringing awareness to how it’s ok to feel like this.”