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Can our pet fish save the day?

Can our pet fish save the day?

The word “quarantine” became widely known by many when cases of COVID-19 appeared in different areas of the world. Due to this, many have been isolated in their homes for several months. Some fell downhill during these times. According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), “Nearly 19% of adults say that their mental health is worse than it was at this time last year while 81% of teens have experienced negative impacts of pandemic-related school closures.” 

Infographic by Francine Palmos. Source: APA

           Perhaps an analogy can help us to better understand our situation. Imagine a fish swimming around a fish tank. They may seem happy once you look at them, but they get isolated once they enter our fish tanks. According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), “Fishes can feel pain and sadness like any other animal once they’re out of their natural habitat.” So how do our pet fishes survive staying in their aquariums? Can their experience help the world survive the pandemic?

          A fish once had an ocean to live in, that ocean is its natural habitat. There they get to swim and explore their surroundings, they have a school of fish of their same kind, and they have areas like coral reefs to make them happy. But all of these factors are removed from fishes once they enter our tanks. 

          We can relate to this now because, for us, the earth is our natural habitat. Here we have parks and malls to explore, groups of friends to hang out with, and activities to attend that make us feel happy. All of these were removed from us by the pandemic. 

          A fish craves interaction with other fishes like we crave interaction with other people to survive, but how do they look so pleased while swimming around in their small tanks? Fish tanks that include decorations like fake plants and stones give comfort to a fish. Having other fish with them makes them happy. Owners also feed them flakes to keep them healthy. To sum up the answer, it’s because they are being taken care of well by their owners. 

          We all should learn from this. Some of your friends and family may have given up their hopes of surviving this whole pandemic, but you can try to be their hope.

“As a society, we must galvanize our resources to support teens and young adults,”

Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., APA’s chief executive officer. 

          Start by catching up with some friends that you haven’t talked to in years. Ask someone if they feel good or support them when they feel down. Hangout with your family and ask them what they are up to. Rewatch your favorite show or do a stream party with your friends. Try some indoor activities that you’ve never done before. Play some music out loud. Or maybe take care of a fish. 

          The possibilities are endless if you try. Your support can make an impact on others and yourself. “Just keep swimming,” said Dory from “Finding Nemo”. We’ll all go through this together, just like how a fish survives in his tank.

By Francine Palmos, Staff Reporter

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Can our pet fish save the day?