Since COVID-19 hit the world monumentally in 2019, it is unfortunately on the rise again. In the past week, there have been seven deaths due to COVID according to the Indiana Department of Health. There also have been more than 1,675 cases of coronavirus since the beginning of September. Although the coronavirus is often considered “just another sickness” and is not taken as seriously as before, it still is a dangerous inconvenience, and some have serious symptoms when infected.

Image courtesy of Indiana Health Department COVID-19 Dashboard.

Earlier in the COVID pandemic, the common symptoms were fever, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. Nowadays, people have comparatively mild symptoms, and some people don’t even recognize if they are infected by the coronavirus. However, according to the article “Social Isolation and Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact on Weight,”  an individual who has pre-existing health issues or who is elderly tends to have more serious symptoms.

When someone gets COVID, that person is encouraged or required to isolate. While this way of “social distancing” helps them avoid contact with other people and spread the disease, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. 

Mental and physical health are often connected in that one’s physical condition is influenced by mental health. For example, social isolation due to COVID discourages interaction with people, creates loneliness, and reduces physical or outside activity. This could lead to depression and also lower their immunity and stamina due to lack of exercise.

Therefore, it is important to maintain a hygiene routine as well as a healthy lifestyle to prevent contracting COVID or to make the disease less severe if infected by it. As the number of infected students has increased again at DePauw, it is a necessity to be more mindful of our health and make adjustments to stay healthy. 

Things you can do to prevent the disease and maintain your health:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Sanitize your work area/room
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wear a mask 
  • Drink water
  • Eat a more nutritious diet
  • Have a sufficient amount of sleep
  • Stand up, walk, take a break! 
  • Go to the gym or get exercise daily!

Things you should do if you contract COVID (in addition to the list above):

  • Call the DePauw Health Center (765-658-4555) to set up an appointment
  • Isolate as much as possible
  • Talk to your professors about attendance, class work, and other expectations

The symptoms of COVID may have lessened in severity in some cases, but there is no disadvantage in being proactive by protecting our health beforehand. It’s always important to be considerate of others as well as your own health. Rest is one of the most important elements in this busy college life. Following these tips could help you have a healthy, meaningful, and COVID-free semester.