This week, our cozy Monday night staff meeting in the Gatehouse looked a little different. While it is usually a time for everyone to catch up and converse on the couches, crowded around the space heater, we instead found ourselves speaking primarily to a Zoom audience with only a few in-person attendees.
Over the course of the past week, the effects of the tripledemic — a simultaneous rise in cases of COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — were felt by our staff as members came down with various illnesses. Although we were originally slated to publish a print edition this week, it quickly became apparent that doing so would not be in the best interests of our staff.
We’ve devoted a lot of time and energy to bringing print back this semester after over two years of online daily publication. Print is a labor of love. Though our love is still there, this week our capacity to do labor was not.
In order to prioritize our needs and health, we collectively decided to cancel this week’s print edition and take the time needed to rest and recover.
Our ailments aren’t just physical, however. Cold, rainy and dark days can take a mental toll. About 5% of U.S. adults are experiencing the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly referred to as seasonal depression, which tends to worsen in late fall and last until spring. Even more of us — about 10 to 20% of Americans — may experience a milder form of seasonal depression.
Whether your winter blues are clinically diagnosable or not, losing daylight hours during the winter can be difficult to adjust to. Moreover, our clocks turned back an hour as daylight saving time ended earlier this month. This transition can worsen symptoms of SAD in addition to disturbing our circadian rhythms.
The time change hasn’t been the only thing keeping us up at night. We’ve also spent the past month concerned over political matters, advocating for the importance of voting and preparing for the midterm elections.
Meanwhile, another kind of midterm has been taxing our minds. In true Hopkins fashion, academic stressors have only piled on as we approach the Thanksgiving break. In addition to last-minute exams, papers and projects, we have also spent the past week worrying about our class schedules for the next semester and waking up before 7 a.m. for class registration.
Now that our long-awaited Thanksgiving break is here, we at The News-Letter implore you to follow our lead. Take a break. Use this rare week off as an opportunity to rest.
For those staying in Baltimore for break, consider attending one of the several events this weekend, like Union Collective’s Apple Fest or Ministry of Brewing’s Eclectic Goods Pop-Up Market. Students can pre-order a Thanksgiving dinner from Hopkins Dining, with classic options such as roasted garlic mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, regardless of whether they have a meal plan.
If you want to make Thanksgiving dinner yourself, check out our Leisure editor’s recommendations on ways to spice up the beloved Thanksgiving side of mac and cheese. Pair your comfort food with some comfort shows and movies. If you’re looking for a recommendation, our Arts and Entertainment section has you covered.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we have. Our time at college is limited, and we should be making the most of it, not spending it miserable, sniffling and exhausted. While the days are growing darker and the Student Health and Wellness Center more crowded, at least we have each other — and turkey — to lean on.