We’re drowning our quarantine worries in pots of coffee


Rachel McCoy

Consuming coffee has become much easier now that we’re at home. Many have found themselves grabbing that extra cup to keep their day going.

by Ashley Nash, Managing Editor

A good ol’ cup of Joe is now a good ol’ pot or two of coffee. One cup before first period. One cup after first. Another cup for lunch and maybe a visit to the local Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru. That’s the new pandemic coffee pattern. 

Our coffee consumption has increased since being at home for school. In a Twitter poll 20% of voters said their coffee intake has increased, and 13% of voters said they drink coffee every day. Coffee consumption has positive and negative effects.

With in-person school, students and teachers had time to wake themselves up by taking shower, getting ready, and to mentally prepare while driving or taking the bus to school. Turning on the camera isn’t a requirement in many classes, so there is no need to wake up early to look presentable. With no time for mental preparation, coffee consumption becomes a substitute.

“I drink coffee every morning. It helps me to stay focused during my classes. I can’t go without it,” said senior Sammie Hoefs. 

Staying awake during class has become even harder now that we are virtual and at home. Many students are just rolling out of bed and getting right onto their Google Meets without any time for their bodies to wake up.

Coffee helps people to feel awake and energized. When caffeine enters the brain it starts to take place of the adenosine, which is what causes sleepiness and tiredness. Caffeine stops the adenosine from connecting to the adenosine receptors. 

Caffeine, surprisingly, isn’t just in coffee. Caffeine is in tea leaves, kola nuts, and cocoa beans. The kola nut is in sodas and energy drinks. 

“Coffee helps me get through school days. I love having it in the morning. It allows me to pay attention and get the most out of classes,” said Class of 2023 member Reagan Heidenberg.

Coffee can also help with improving memory and brain speed, and it could reduce the risk of depression. Feeling a little sad? Go take a drive and grab some Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks coffee.

What's your go-to coffee?


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Taking a break from work and taking a drive can also improve mental health. This is just another reason why coffee is beneficial. With so few places to socialize, at Starbucks they have a large table open inside and small tables open outside. Taking a trip to Starbucks or working at another location can help with focusing on school work.

LHS graduate Emily Webb, a Starbucks employee said, “At the Starbucks in Urbana, we’re just as busy as we’ve always been. It’s honestly surprising to me that we haven’t been slower with the pandemic.”

Coffee also helps to speed up metabolism which can help to lose fat. Drinking coffee or a caffeinated drink before a game or performance opens airways, increase blood flow, and improves reaction time. 

Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Regular consumption of caffeine can cause a dependence, and some researchers, like food scientist, Michael Pollan, have written about the positives and negatives of caffeine addiction.  

“I tend to drink 5-6 cups of coffee a day. It helps my life, but it is also very destructive. Coffee improves my work ethic and determination, but when I don’t drink it, the side effects are awful. It leaves me miserable and looking for my next cup,”  said senior Thomas Barbagallo.

Deciding to stop consuming caffeine or drinking coffee can come at a price. Drinking about two to three cups a day can create caffeine withdrawal.  Symptoms of caffeine withdraw include headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depressed moods, and difficulty concentrating. 

Kate Fitzhugh, Class of 2023 said, “Even though there are a few side effects like headaches and fatigue, I love drinking coffee. Coffee is so fun because there are so many flavors for every season. Pumpkin is my favorite!”

Don’t like the taste of coffee, but still want the energy? Try water, dark chocolate, kombucha, or tea.