Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Glens Falls, 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?
About March 1, we were beginning to hear more about the virus and were starting to clean our office space more. I had someone unwillingly come into my office and loudly coughed all over the office in an attempt to be asked to leave. At this point i knew life was changing.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I never thought my work could or would be able to be done from home. One day we heard it was being considered. By that afternoon we were asked to create an emergency work from home plan and were told not to come back until told. I have been working from home and staying at home. Groceries were difficult to find. In the beginning i felt guilty leaving my home. My doctor’s appointment turned into a phone call.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
At first i felt odd and uncertain how to proceed to work from home. I felt guilty if i wasn't working every moment. I have now begun to love being at home. I feel more rested. I have had more time to cook. I feel my body has gone through preservative withdrawal. I never took a break at work. Working from home i can take a break and walk my dog. I have not been very worried about catching the virus while never leaving home. My concern is going back into the public. I am religious about washing my hands and wear a mask. I love waking up to birds singing instead of an alarm clock, traffic, or sirens.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
I think living in a smaller community has helped. Most everyone has been respectful of the new rules. People have been creative in ways to protect each other and sell their products. It has been strange to have things like the DMV allow expired licenses because you cant have your picture taken or take an eye test. It has also been fun to see creative ways people are celebrating life events. I went by a nursing home and saw a group of men in a circle serenading a resident
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?
Are you an essential employee? What do you do? What precautions are being taken at your workplace? What precautions are implementing at home?
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?
I don't want people to have my personal phone number. People do not pick up if the number is restricted. Some people are rude or suspicious. My job has changed to begin helping with unemployment. The unemployment in NY went crazy and the program was not ready for anything of this magnitude. I was a tiny piece in helping people through the process. I believe i helped many people feel listened to and helped
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
My children are grown. We have been having group chats on Facebook. Everyone had become distant as we all live in different states or countries and life is busy. Now with extra time in our lives we have reconnected. My son and his family came to live at my home as they had such anxiety and difficulty living in NYC. It was extremely trying to live 24 hrs a day with a 4 year old when i havent been used to having kids in the home and i am not leaving home even for work. And a challenge to work while having a young child at your feet
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?
No. But it has been fun to see ways people have celebrated graduations and seniors.
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
Yes. My daughter had to change the date of her wedding. We had just purchased her wedding dress in February. The indecision and not knowing when or how to change the wedding has been stressful. We are attempting to have the wedding in August. We know not everyone will likely be able to come. My son also had to postpone a major project he had been working on for a year
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
I have a dog and cat. They have cheered me. I have loved walking my dog more. We both feel better. The vet was the first experience i had after starting the pandemic. I was amazed how easily we adapted with no contact!
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
My work has allowed me to help the unemployed. I have spread the word about community services and assistance available. I have listened, answered questions and helped people find job leafs that are still coming in.
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
A coworker tested positive. She has a second job at a nursing home. She was quarantined but had few symptoms. She was fortunate
If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
I wish i had known that this was for such a long time. I didnt take everything i would end up needing from work. I also was unprepared and did not understand people were hoarding. I was only caught short on toilet paper and my office allowed me to take a large roll from work. I am glad i live as a prepared individual so i was pretty much ok.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
I believe in being prepared in life. I have a go bag but i generally forget to keep it updated. I also have extra food, etc on hand. I have been through ice storms that took out electricity and gas for two weeks. We have found that people also need things to keep themselves busy and distracted or entertained. That is really important. But the pandemic isn't everything that is happening. We had an earthquake, a tornado and rioting. Our government is at odds and people are listening to politics instead of science. There comes a divide. Listening to too much media is not helpful.- it can generate anxiety and misinformation. Simplify your life and take care of each other. Live your life with hope and faith in God. And have plenty of toilet paper on hand!
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
One thing i do not think people have yet realized but i think may happen is that people have had a long enough break to find out how much life had gotten out of control and that we have survived well without doing all we were doing. When you go on vacation it takes time to unwind and then you go right back. This has given us enough time to look at activities and make changes to our lifestyle. I also think people’s health has likely improved with less stress and less eating out. Life has already changed with cashiers being behind plexiglass. I hate the masks as i have severe allergies and find it difficult to breathe with the mask on. Hopefully transportation will become safer and more clean. I am not sure how an airplane will accomplish this. People will likely work more from home and i wonder if that will change the use of real estate. I sincerely hope this makes a positive change for senior citizens and their care
Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn't already been asked above?
Relax and roll with the punches. Stay positive, be creative and positive. Life is about changing directions. We have had other new normals and survived.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
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“Gayle,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 8, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/112.