By: Travis Naughton

While shelter-in-place orders were being issued locally and throughout the world in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus back in March of 2020, I was concerned about the first graders of Southern Boone County Primary School. As their long-term substitute music teacher for the 2019-2020 academic year, I knew how much my students were looking forward to performing their spring musical “How to be a Pirate”. I also knew how disappointed they would be if the concert were to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Thankfully, the show went on as scheduled and was well received by parents, grandparents, and the other members of the audience. And the kids had a blast. A couple of days later, the school district shut down and switched to alternate methods of instruction (AMI), effectively and abruptly ending the most rewarding professional experience of my life. In the following weeks, I became deeply depressed. While the virus was spreading like wildfire and causing death and misery everywhere it went, I faithfully obeyed county stay-at-home orders and hunkered down in our little house in the woods. The isolation was unbearable. I missed my students. I missed my coworkers. I missed my friends. As I became more depressed, I also felt extremely anxious. The angry, irrational outbursts I was having worried my wife, and after talking it over with her, I decided to reach out for professional help.

See more in this weeks Boone County Journal