Midterms and pandemic burnout


With midterms still lingering on our calendars, we are all feeling the stress of making it to mid-semester. Managing Zoom classes has not been an easy feat, but we’ve made it this far.

Since being in quarantine, the days seem to pass by without our knowledge, and many people are beginning to worry about just how long we’ll all have to live under COVID-19 restrictions.

When the virus first reached Texas, we were all incredibly optimistic that if we followed the health and safety guidelines for two weeks and stayed at home, the whole virus issue would be resolved by summer. In March, the mere idea of classes being online in the fall seemed outrageous and idiotic. Yet here we are, the virus raging stronger than ever with no end in sight.

Every day we hear about the rising cases in some city adjacent to our hometown, or how medical professionals are quitting their jobs because they feel overwhelmed by the influx of COVID-19 patients. We are collectively trying to manage the burden of the pandemic while also making it to Zoom classes and contributing to class discussion.

No doubt this semester has been ridiculously hard on students, but it’s also been really hard on our professors, staff, and anyone who has to wake up every morning and pretend that everything is just alright.

Everything is not alright, and hardly any of us are alright. It’s a difficult time to try to “keep it all together,” but somehow we manage. We are not being allowed to grieve the losses that we’ve had to set aside in order to continue with school, work, and life. Our “successes” during COVID-19 come with a cost. That cost is our mental health, our physical health, our friends and family. We keep waking up and getting hit with heartbreaking news that we aren’t allowed to process because we have to be productive people.

Be kind to one another, remember to breathe, and trust that we will all get through this together. It hasn’t been easy at all, and it will continue to not be easy, but there is immense strength to be found in the knowledge that we are collectively facing this together.

So what will happen when things get better? Will we return to our old ways and forget we ever had to be cautious of whether we are exposing other people to illness? We hope not.

COVID-19 is teaching us a lot about caring for others, but not without costing us the lives of the people we love most. We can only move forward from here, and we want you to know that though it may feel like you’re alone, not once during quarantine has that been true. It will continue to prove false.