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COVID-19 has had a huge effect on the ways people go about their everyday lives. There are short-term and long-term effects of this national pandemic.

Noah Weege is a senior environmental science and business major. While discussing the short-term effects, Weege said, “Shopping, hospitals and restaurants will go back to ‘normal’ without masks and restrictions once a vaccine comes out.” Keeping a positive attitude about where COVID-19 will take people in the future is important.

Weege said, “One of the long-term effects that COVID-19 will have for a while is education, churches and places of business will continue to move toward online platforms and utilize that to further their organizations. That will cause society to have a somewhat decrease in social skills, beyond what has already happened in the age of the internet.” COVID-19 has affected everyone differently, which is a sad reality in today’s world.

JoHanna Beyer, a junior art education major, said, “The children that are distance learning . . . will have the experience [of] hands-on learning [because] parents are fearful that their child could get sick, and they have … authority over their lives. And now they are increasing their say over the school districts, which could bend the rules of what schooling looks like for kids.”

Common themes from the two responses were the social and hands-on learning aspects for kids during the school year.

Beyer explained: “I think this year has influenced every person mentally as it has been isolating and negative. When we hear things over and over, we start to believe them and carry that onto ourselves. And from these conditions, mental health is declining, and there will be higher rates of anxiety and stress and increases in abuse and in suicide rates because of the fear that has been put onto culture inflicted by the media. There will then be a need for mental health institutes and aid, new methods of finding relief and safe homes for women and children. The safety of the average person has been put into question. This is one of the basic human needs in order to be successful, and when that is taken out, society shifts in: the economy, job opportunities, home life. With these main functions of society altering how we are influenced in our day to day, there is going to be a new shift where people cannot always go back to what they had because of this shift that changed their outcome. Jobs will look different, and more people are working from home. Will there be large brick-and-motor businesses or a shift to a full online-run system?”