COVID’s Effects on Social Skills

COVID’s Effects On Social Skills
People in line wearing masksThe first COVID cases were documented in early 2020 and with that, school came to a close in March, and that “two week” break that we were once promised turned into school not opening back up to its students for the remainder of the year. While virtual learning is taking place now, everyone can agree that it is not the same as in-person learning, especially in the social sense. Either with in-person encounters or virtual, people seem to be having trouble opening up like they used to. Classes now are silent, teachers begging for their once rowdy students to unmute themselves. There is a new sudden anxiety with speaking up from behind a computer screen when it used to be where most people felt the safest. The school days now consist of teachers doing their best to continue education as normally as possible and students sitting in their own comfortable silence, afraid to speak up into the stillness. Garrett Dixon, a senior, feels more anxious socially now than ever, especially from behind his screen. “I got more comfortable with silence and when I have to speak up in a group, I feel more nervous than I ever have before. I worry more about people judging me, I talk faster and I stutter more often.” The sudden lack of confidence that people are having socially is present in physical interactions too. Social distancing and masks have a part in this; some people feel uncomfortable with the distance and masks can cause communication issues. From personal experience, it is now odd being in public without a mask anymore and even feels quite rude to go without one. COVID has caused the public to feel further apart than ever when it is a time that everyone should be coming together to make things as normal as possible. Everyone feels uneasy and out of place. With school returning soon, hopefully, everyone can get out of the “quarantine shell” that this virus has put people in. People can open up and slowly return to their outgoing and talkative selves and teachers can be saved from begging their students to unmute themselves and fill the silence that has been hovering thick in the air.

By: Shyann Finefrock