In the early months of 2020, new talk was arising of a virus named “COVID-19.” This virus is known to be a respiratory virus, affecting the lungs, oxygen rate, and overall well-being of everyone across the globe. Leaving those who caught this virus having symptoms including loss of taste, smell, shortness of breath, and a handful of other symptoms. This virus surfaced at the near end of 2019 and in 2022 it can still be seen.

Through navigating this global issue, the United States has had to take many safety precautions to help curve the spread of COVID-19. Those precautions including social distancing, mandatory stay-at-home orders, mask wearing in public, and more recently, talk of potentially mandating vaccinations. Although the mandate of vaccinations is still in the air, what can be known is that the existing precautions that have been taken and extended throughout the past two years have had effects on people globally. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I interviewed a couple of individuals to further understand this perspective, and to bring light to those who have struggled through this threat to overall health.


Source: Office for National Statistics (UK data); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US data).

I was fortunate enough to interview two individuals at two different spots in life. Noelle Bovee, 22 years old, is a senior in college that will be graduating this year, and Peri Bolts, 32, is a small business owner who opened her second store in Colorado Springs, CO, Eclectic Co. during the height of COVID-19. These interviews were done on March 14th, 2022, at 6pm via Marco Polo app and voice messages due to the distance to conduct an in-person interview. While getting the opportunity to speak to these wonderful individuals, the focus at hand was mental health during COVID-19. I asked both ladies to share their stories through this pandemic, and the affects it’s had on their mental, emotional, and physical health. They both have admirable journeys that are worth looking at.

Social interactions can be a core element to the health of our mental, emotional, and physical selves. With COVID-19 affecting the well-being of the global population, social interactions had to be limited to protect one another from getting sick. Although this was a step of action to help protect individuals, not being able to meet with loved ones and have in-person communication had its rippling affects. In my interview with Ms. Bovee, she had stated, “pre-covid, I was a very extroverted, very social, very interested in having hang outs with people outside of class, and really involved in a lot of things. Feeling very open and ready for all sorts of things. Then COVID hit and I really enjoyed being alone. Being social was very draining. I went from being extroverted to introverted” (Bovee, Noelle. Interview. By IsaBella LeCompte. 14 March 2022).

In a study done by the New York Times, data reflected that social interactions are not only important to our mental health, but also our physical health. In the study, it talks about how those who have stronger connections within their communities have an overall healthier mental health and can even have extended lifespans. On the other hand, those who lack these social connections and interactions are seen to have an unhealthier mental health and can have a shorter lifespan.[1] When getting the chance to chat about the effects of COVID with Mrs. Bolt, she had dabbled into her community within Eclectic Co., and their journey through this as a team. She had stated, “I absolutely agree that community and socialization contribute to our overall health. My community actually increased during the pandemic. It really strengthened in my business and in a small business community in general. We all really relied on each other way more than before than the pandemic, so I actually think I feel much healthier than before the pandemic” (Bolts, Peri. Interview. By IsaBella LeCompte. 14 March 2022).

When asking both Bolts and Bovee what their overall experience from COVID was, both had a good combination of positive and difficult parts through this pandemic. “I’ve definitely seen negative experiences such as not having as much energy for things, not wanting to be out as much, wanting to say no. I’d rather sit alone, drink alone, and all of that stuff. But, that first chunk of the pandemic when I moved home, I wasn’t living in my roommate situation anymore, and doing school was online, it was really fun cause I would just go to school online, be home, and be with my family and get to be with my friends. I tell everyone that it was the best summer of my life” (Bovee, Noelle. Interview. By IsaBella LeCompte. 14 March 2022). As well as Bolts adding, “In a weird way I think that having to be really intentional and having to be really selective about what social interactions were taking place was actually good for me. It helped me discern who I really wanted to spend that valuable time with and who I felt good and felt like it was a good use of my time with. I don’t know that I always felt that way during the pandemic, but that’s been something I’ve taken forward with me is I say yes to a lot less social interactions still and only say yes to the ones that feel really good for me” (Bolts, Peri. Interview. By IsaBella LeCompte. 14 March 2022).

COVID-19 today is still present, but individuals across the world are slowly able to return to activities that once fulfilled everyday lives. Meeting for dinner, hanging out with loved one, going to watch movies, and more. People are in the process of constructing a new reality after facing a global threat to society. This virus is known to attack the physical body but can also heavily affect the mental and emotional elements of human health. Though this journey through the unknown was never expected, there can be both positive and negative experiences to come out of it for individuals everywhere. Mental and emotional health play a big role in our overall health, and through this pandemic, we can find ways to help support our communities and our well-being for the future to come. Peri Bolt’s and Noelle Bovee’s journeys can lead an example of so.



{1} Office for National Statistics (UK data); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US data) “Covid’s Mental Stress”

{2}Brody, Jane E., “Social Interaction Is Critical for Mental and Physical Health.” NYTimes, June 12, 2017

[1] Brody, Jane E., “Social Interaction Is Critical for Mental and Physical Health.” NYTimes, June 12, 2017