How COVID-19 Has Impacted Community Health

Photo+courtesy+Wikimedia+Commons

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Gabriella Pirmann

Since the beginning of March 2020, maintaining both physical and mental health has been a struggle for not just our community, but for much of the world.

The weight of isolation isn’t the only weight that people have had to carry. With gyms being forced to close, many people have begun to carry more physical weight while slipping away from healthy eating habits.

It’s been said that food brings comfort, and in these unprecedented times that saying has never been truer, even I’m guilty myself. In April 2020, I was out of work because my store was deemed unessential, and I gained fifteen pounds.

I reached out to members of our community to get their input on how they feel the pandemic has affected their health, and the response was largely the same. Quarantine made the already daunting challenge of maintaining physical health even more difficult.

“I feel like my relationship with my physical body has gotten worse during quarantine. Gaining weight has played a role in that, because I am mentally unhappy with it, but also because I don’t feel as well,” said Emily Eberle, a community member with a bachelor’s in health sciences.

Sofi Choinski, a student of Penn State, shared these feelings.

“I was very sick last year and lost so much weight, so I was pretty skinny. In staying home, I stopped working out and let myself eat whatever whenever. I gained a lot of weight and started to feel poorly about my body as summer came on,” said Choiski. “Over quarantine I’ve learned how to listen to my body more and act based solely on what I’m inspired to do day by day. I try to eat healthier for the sake of my health.”

Erin Volov, a student at Delaware Valley University, had a similar story.

“I felt like because I wasn’t doing as much that I had to restrict my diet more, thinking I’d get fat if I ate a bite of ice cream,” said Volov. “But I also think it was good, because it made me work through that and realize I need to have a better relationship with food.”

Unfortunately, we live in an age where a lot of a people’s self-worth rests on their physical appearance. If you feel like your mental health has been impacted negatively by this pandemic and you need help, please reach out to someone. Bucks’ Guidance is prepared to help you.