Springfield Mass med student and youth council member shares COVID insight

What changes have you made to protect your mental and physical health during this time?

The first couple of months, I was just studying and staying home, not doing all the things that make me, me. But as the year progressed, I really saw how important it is to take care of yourself mentally and physically. … I really like to read and I didn’t do that while I was studying and doing classes. I think meditation is great just taking time for yourself. Checking in with yourself mentally is great. Physically, even if you’re weren’t able to go to the gym, I think you still should do some stretching or whatever exercise makes you feel good. I think those two things are really important. Those are some changes that I made in the latter half of the pandemic and what I hope to continue in 2022.

What would you say to young people today that you may not have said two years ago about protecting yourself in life in general?

A couple of years ago, or even at the beginning of COVID, there was this idea that younger individuals were completely protected. It was thought that they couldn’t get sick and that COVID itself was more of an older [person’s] disease. Medicine has taught me that we talk a lot about different types of disease presentations and, yes, this disease presents more likely in older individuals, but anybody can almost get anything. That may not be the cases that you’re seeing on the news or the cases that you’re talking about with your friends, but it’s a possibility, so make sure that you are being safe.

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