Coping with the pandemic

Collin Acevedo, News Editor

The world before COVID-19 feels so long ago, yet it was only a mere two years before this rampaging viruses’ damning introduction to the world. And now COVID-19 lives with everyone whether they are sick with the virus or out in public socially distanced with a mask on; it is the subtle appropriation of it all into our lives as we learn to deal with it in one way or another.

But the good thing about it is that we aren’t alone with this issue; it’s a worldwide thing, with countries around the world rolling out lockdowns and closing down schools to be taught online. It is a sad little connection within this big mess of events that we all share in common.

And in common, we share its burdens, trying our best to make sense of a world that seems to be gone as we still see the subtle traces of what was. Speaking with Dave Seymour, a licensed Marriage and Family counselor here at Bakersfield College, he helped talk me through COVID-19 and it has not-so-subtle effects in the bigger picture.

“As that isolation increased and became the norm, it did start affecting people. Depression, domestic violence, stress, academic struggles, suicide, all these indicators of stress and mental illness increased pretty dramatically. I think we are still trying to make sense of it, but we are social creatures. We are wired for social experience, and when you take that away, it affects people even though they may not consciously think that’s why they are affected.”

The dissipating connections we had with the world were so tight that we broke apart when they were cut so quickly and thoroughly. For some, the pandemic brought a fresh sight of finding themselves, or they became the baker or chef they always wanted to be, while others found a darker side within it. Knowing the moments of melancholy linger on far after the events that gave it its vibrant color, and it’s been a good two years of a “wonderful” light show.

“It is important for people to recognize their own vulnerabilities and make efforts to engage in self-care, and it’s important for us as a society to recognize vulnerabilities in others and make efforts to be compassionate. Seymour continues. “Understand and reach out when we can when we notice people who are struggling.”

But you can never forget that you are not alone. Even in the darkest tunnel, there lays a light at the end; even in the dark night, there lay stars above to guide.

According to BC Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor, Juliana Martinez “our services at the Student Health and Wellness Center are available to all students currently enrolled in courses at Bakersfield College. We offer both in-person and virtual meetings through zoom.”

Office hours are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can schedule an appointment by calling (661)395-4336 or emailing us at [email protected].