Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Guilderland, New York
When did the impact of COVID-19 first occur to you? How did your reaction to COVID-19 change between then and the first case in your town?
Probably the first week of March. There was a lot of talk about the virus and my elderly mother was starting to express concern. Guilderland had one of the first cases in the area, the week of March 9. I remember thinking my last "normal" day we Wednesday, March 11. It was the last day I followed a normal schedule.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
My life is definitely slower. I spend much more time at home, looking for projects to keep me occupied. I feel like I miss some things about my old life, but not all things.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
Most of the time I feel fine, but when I think about the uncertainty of the future, and the unknowns, I get anxious. If I could have some assurance that I would someday be able to travel again, go out and see my friends, attend a concert, or not have to don a mask, I would feel fine all the time and be able to cope.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
Our community has always been a giving one, at least since we have lived here since 2015. They have gone above and beyond to provide for people in need. My son and I were active volunteering to assemble and deliver meals to school kids from the beginning of this. I think what has surprised me is how patient people have been overall with this massive disruption of their lives.
Are you a business owner who has had to close? If you are still open, how have you had to adjust how your business operates?
I have worked from home for years as a professional genealogist, but I volunteer my time helping others with their family histories in local libraries (including Crandall) and also offer instructional programming. All my in person sessions have of course been cancelled with libraries closing, so I have continued doing things online. I answer questions all day on Wednesdays from my Facebook page, and have scheduled a few Zoom programs through different libraries. Business is slower, but overall I've managed fine.
Are you an essential employee? What do you do? What precautions are being taken at your workplace? What precautions are implementing at home?
My husband is an essential worker, selling cleaning supplies to businesses, school, state buildings, etc. He's been working all along, trying to supply his customers with necessary cleaning items that are in short supply and high demand. It's been very frustrating for him to get inventory to sell. He takes precautions by entering our house through the basement, changing his clothes, then washing them. We are all sanitizing and washing hands frequently.
Are you an employee who has been laid off or furloughed? Were you able to get unemployment? Were you able to retain your health insurance?
Are you working from home? What adjustments or challenges are you experiencing?
See above (question 5)
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
I have a 19 year old son who had to finish up his spring semester at HVCC online. It went quite well, but certainly was an adjustment. He goes for a run, walk or bike ride every day and keeps up with his friends via facetime, video game play, or Zoom. He's doing fairly well, but is sad about summer activities being doubtful.
If you’re a student, was school canceled? Were you able to complete your studies online? Do you think you’ll be back on campus in the fall?
My son is hoping HVCC will be back on campus in the fall
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
My father in law passed away in April, not from the virus. We have had to postpone a funeral for him until we can all get together again.
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
We have 2 cats, they have not noticed much difference except they get few on demand and are able to go in and out on the screen porch whenever they want to!
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
People taking care of their yards and houses- everything in my neighborhood looks beautiful!
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
Yes, a friend of ours had it. She was very sick for several weeks. She would start feeling better, then get very sick again. She has since fully recovered. My cousin's wife also had it, she is also recovering.
If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?
We have not had a chance to get together yet to celebrate the life of my father in law. We want to do that over the summer.
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
More facts about the virus and how it spreads. I have felt that most of what we have been doing is overkill, but if it's kept us safe, then I have no problem with it. I just wish more was known about it so there would be less rumors spread.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
Make sure you have enough money saved to be able to get through a crisis of some months. We did not have to worry about financial issues and that contributed to our peace of mind and security.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
I hate the phrase "new normal". I believe that things will be different for a time, but eventually life will return to close to what it was before. Technology will be more widely used over more platforms. More people will work from home.
Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn't already been asked above?
Early on, a started taking a picture every day to document what was happening during our quarantine. I sent a different picture every day to my mother, who was isolating herself in her apartment until a case was diagnosed there, then she was with us for a month. Below are some of those images.
Southern Adirondack Library System
“Lisa,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed January 21, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/107.