A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Thousands of Americans suffer additional pandemics on top of Coronavirus

For months, COVID-19 has taken over the normal lives of people across the country and the globe. This pandemic has shut down businesses, large gatherings, and closed schools in 50 states in the Spring. The world has basically gone on lockdown, where many local and state governments have forced citizens to self-quarantine in their homes and only go outside for essential needs or in small, socially-distanced groups. But for some, home isn’t the safest option, either.    

We are all currently living in different home situations. Some of us could be staying home with our families, our friends, or our significant others. Either way, the mental health of many young kids, teens, and even adults are being tested. 

When asked, a middle school student, whose name shall remain anonymous, stated that, “I think that some people are struggling because some kids relied on school lunch and some students have abusive parents or not a stable household living.” 

In most counties across the states, school systems have discovered ways to combat this problem.  They have been distributing breakfast, lunch, and some starting dinners to kids and families, even throughout summer breaks. This has helped many young kids and teens who depended on the daily school meal, or who simply are in need of a fresh lunch, during this pandemic. 

It is clear that we should be aware that not everyone is having a smooth quarantine journey. According to “A New Covid-19 Crisis” by the New York Times, “domestic violence goes up whenever families spend more time together…Now, with families in lockdown worldwide, hotlines are lighting up with abuse reports, leaving governments trying to address a crisis that experts say they should have seen coming.” 

What was supposed to be an effective way to keep families safe and distant from each other to stop the spread of COVID-19 has left others vulnerable in many other ways. 

Besides the fact that school is a great form of education given to kids at a young age, it is also a place where some young kids and teens use as a distraction from their everyday lives. With the sudden school closings, teens are cooped up in their homes all day, where some can suffer from domestic violence cases. Our only escape from society has turned into what can be seen as others’ worst nightmare.

 “…children from families who are already vulnerable – with the tightest finances, facing job losses, food insecurity, housing instability or fractured relationships – are likely to fare the worst and will need the most help,” USA Today news reported.

The rises in domestic violence cases, due to the pandemic, have caused children to be at-risk with the downfalls of their mental health. The switch from classroom learning to distant learning can be confusing for some young kids but even worse for the stable minds of young teenagers.

Everyday you get the typical, “I’m bored of being stuck in this house all day” comments that you tend to see come from young adults and teenagers, but you start to realize that there are people with much greater problems out there and boredom is the least of their worries. We have been exposed to the various posts and tweets of many individuals who have shown that they are tired of being cooped up inside the house, and this is shown as a true crisis for them.

However, there are thousands of teens who are suffering from mental health issues, domestic violence, or lack of resources that go far beyond the minds of every human being, and this isn’t being broadcasted enough.

According to the Market Watch study, “The $2.2 trillion package that Congress approved to offer financial help during the coronavirus pandemic has one major exclusion: millions of immigrants who do not have legal status in the U.S. but work here and pay taxes.” This includes the families who had the responsibility of providing for their children and loved ones across the globe. 

During a worldwide pandemic, you can expect many families to fall short when it comes to keeping up the responsibility of re-supplying their pantries and refrigerators with food daily. The government then issued stimulus checks that ranged from 1,200 to 6,000 dollars, depending on the family size, to give to their citizens to help with expenses. 

Not every family was fortunate enough to receive these checks, which includes millions of immigrants who will not receive help to pay for their expenses, which then leaves millions of people lacking resources during a pandemic.