THE CIRCULAR

Home Sickness and the pandemic

Separating from home and moving to a new country, often on a different continent with different customs, cuisine, and weather can make one susceptible to homesickness. For others, the disruption of their familiar routine and the stress of adjusting to a new environment can have a negative impact on their mental health.

 

Image by Hieu Van from Pixabay

Covid 19 exacerbated the mental health and homesickness issues in recent years, as international students felt more alone. Many students who desired to work and travel across Europe saw their dreams come crashing down as the pandemic not only claimed lives but also employment and restricted movement. They were unable to interact with peers, take classes on campus, or fully enjoy their college experience. Students’ mental health was hugely affected as they were away from home, confined to their rooms, and witnessing the daily rise in the death toll from Covid 19. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The pandemic also made the risk factors for suicidal behavior more severe, social isolation, COVID-19 quarantine, and financial hardships brought on by job loss were risk factors for suicide and/or suicidal attempts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Loisa wakasa is an international student at Griffith college from Kenya, who arrived in Ireland during the tough days of the pandemic.  She arrived in Dublin at the peak of the pandemic and was forced to self-isolate, Self-isolation entailed staying inside and minimizing contact with others. Your roommates are included in this. It is also known as self-quarantine. Meals were delivered to her through under the door by police covered in plastic just to avoid contact. 

 In this Video interview, I talked to Loisa and she narrates to us how she was able to cope despite the challenges that were brought about by the pandemic and how she has been able to avoid feeling homesick. 

video by Sarah Ntabadde for circular.org

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