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Returning to In-Person School with Anxiety (COVID-19 Edition)

Many universities shut down in March 2020 in efforts to keep students and staff safe from Covid-19. The human mind faces many challenges in one lifetime; a pandemic can make daily life tasks twice as difficult. Like most people, I personally do not like change. Covid-19 has taken crucial social interactions away from many. At one point I started to keep track of how many days it had been since I left the house; the grand total was forty-five consecutive days at one point. Within those forty-five days that I spent isolated from human interaction aside from members of my household, I felt numb. When my parents finally told me they felt comfortable with me going to a store, I couldn’t remember how to talk to other humans when I arrived, I was terrified. As someone who has severe anxiety mixed with many days spent isolated from society, I was horrified. Covid-19 regulations in Ohio along with many other states include social distancing. The first store I entered, fresh out of quarantine, was Walmart. The shelves in Walmart were bare, people were fighting over the last pack of Clorox wipes, while others stood far away from other humans nearby. I was one of the humans zoned-out in a building full of people that were fighting over essential products to keep themselves afloat. As I watched those around me rip things out of each other’s hands, and others crying because they could not find alcohol swabs to test their insulin levels, I felt alone. I thought those around me were going to kill each other over things like toilet paper, cases of water, and cleaning supplies. I have heard the saying many times “I have never felt so alone in a room full of people”, it is as if the saying was living and breathing in front of my eyes. As I have lived past the many days of quarantine, it is now time to return to in-person school. Tomorrow I have my first day back to in-person classes since the demoralizing pandemic struck. I am terrified of being back to in-person. Many would ask, “Why aren’t you excited?” My answer: “The site I saw in Walmart around June of 2020…humanity needs much more time to heal.” If people are fighting over essential products to survive, imagine what they will do if their pencil drops on the floor. Many people have spent a lot of time alone; anger, fear, and hatred have built among many. In my twenty years of life that I have spent on this Earth, I have never seen such selfish, cutthroat, and inhuman behavior as I did that day in Walmart. The world needs to do better and until I see “better”, I trust no one. This pandemic as a whole has created a new breed of monsters, they are called people.

Mariana Rizzo

Youngstown '23

Hello! My name is Mariana Rizzo. Everyone calls me Mari for short. I am a third-year, Early Childhood Education Major at YSU. I work outside of school along with spending time with close friends and studying. I am super excited to partner with HC this year. I believe that I am able to put out advice that all girls will love to follow. Go guins!
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