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Malheur County teens struggle with anxiety as pandemic puts life on hold

Students like Lizzie Morford are experiencing more anxiety and stress as the pandemic lingers. (The Enterprise/Liliana Frankel).

ADRIAN – When Lizzie Morford, 17, learned in March that her spring break would be extended because of the Covid pandemic, she was excited by the prospect of the extra time off.

She never guessed that she was experiencing the last full-length school days of 2020. 

Since then, Covid has worn on, irrevocably disrupting Morford’s senior year at Adrian High School.

“My mental health has just plummeted to the ground,” she said.

She is not alone. The pandemic has deepened life’s challenges for about one out of four school students who already endured mental, social or other problems. In Malheur County, that could mean an estimated 1,000 students or more.

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