With Isolation Comes Depression: The Dark Side Of Quarantine

Alison Lucha, Staff member

It has been more than a month since Contra Costa County issued a “shelter- in- place” order to slow down the spread of COVID-19, and Diablo Valley College students who live in the area are still struggling psychologically with the impacts.  

“Not talking to people or going out as much is making me feel extremely cooped up,” says Maia Peko, a DVC student majoring in criminology.

While self-isolation is critical to protect oneself and others from the virus, students are quickly discovering some of the negative repercussions of the lockdown. With isolation comes depression, stress, and worry that can, for better or less of a term, drive people mad. 

“This quarantine definitely has its negatives,” says Ana Perez, another DVC student majoring in criminology. “It makes people depressed, antisocial … and in my case a little crazy, seeing the same four walls every day.” 

Instead of fearing the virus itself, many people seem to fear the psychological effects that come with quarantine – like suffering from no face-to-face contact, lack of sleep, depression, anxiety, or boredom.   

“It’s definitely a challenge, not having a routine or … something to look forward to. I struggle with little things like falling asleep and keeping myself busy,” says linguistics major Amy Trejo.   

According to The Wall Street Journal, research shows that withdrawal from our usual environment – due to social distancing – has left people without any “inspiration.” As a recent article in the paper put it, “With hundreds of millions of people sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic, experts say people will struggle with dreams, creativity, and work. Instead, nightmares and anxiety will increase and our memories will slowly fade.”  

Jason Sanchez, another DVC student, says, “ It’s almost like we can’t win. If we continue with our normal lives, the virus spreads and COVID-19 cases increase, but if we stay cooped up in our homes and adjust to our ‘new normal,’ we will struggle with other things like stress and worry.”

DVC has established many ways for students to reach out for any problems they might have. If students need help with tutoring, a counselor to help with classes, or simply to talk to someone, they can log on to the DVC website and find what they’re looking for.