Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Saratoga Springs, 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?
There were really two different events that made COVID-19 seem like more than just a news article. When the nursing facility where my mom lives closed down access to outsiders and kept the members in their rooms and when the NBA suspended its season in the span of 2 hours.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I work from home and I practice social distancing. This means not going for a hike where other people are already hiking, less frequent trips to the grocery store, and being mindful of others. I also haven't seen my parents in several months as both of them are considered high risk. I've also noticed that my reading habits have changed. I used to really enjoy heartrenching stories but I tried to read Overstory and I just couldn't do it. So I've basically switched to Sci-fi.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
Honestly, I'm not as stressed out as I was in March and April. I have a nightly cocktail, play video games online with my brother, read ebooks, and help my wife with her garden.
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?
I wasn't but my wife has been furloughed. It was a confusing process to collect unemployment but she has been able to collect. She has been able to maintain her health insurance but she may have to pay her employer for her health insurance from her unemployment cheques, we just haven't heard anything yet. We are also not sure if she will be laid off. And we really won't know until maybe August.
Are you working from home? What adjustments or challenges are you experiencing?
Yes, I'm working from home and I really enjoy it. I've often thought about the pointlessness of driving to an office building just to sit in front of a machine when I could do the same work from the comfort of my apartment.
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
My mom's birthday, which I almost totally forgot about. It just wasn't something I was even thinking about. Like people still have birthdays during a pandemic, people are getting married, and graduating from school. So we met virtually and we sent her some jars of cake.
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
Black Lives Matter is sweeping the nation. Also, I think more people realize how important it is to spend time with your family. I like to hope that the pandemic will cause us as a society to re-evaluate what is truely important.
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
I personally know of a few people. One from my wife's office and he was in the hospital for several days on a ventilator and his wife was at home and was unable to visit him and had no phone contact for several days. So far 5 people at my mother's nursing facility have died, she can look out the window and see their empty rooms from across the courtyard.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
When I began to take the pandemic seriously I remembered that my great grandfather had died during the 1918 pandemic. There are only two things I know about him: he worked in a cinema as a projectionist and he died during the pandemic. I also thought about how generations pass on warnings. I lived in Japan when the tsunami hit in 2011 and one of the things that caught my attention was stories about Tsunami Stones. These are stones that marked the location of high water during past tsunamis they are hundreds of years old carrying messages carved in stone warning future generations not to build below these markers. I wonder what my great-grandfather's advice would be and I wonder how we can pass on a lasting message to future generations about this global event.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
I have no idea. As New York state is slowly reopening and there is cause for concern that there will be a second wave either in the near future or come autumn. But also who would have thought that two weeks ago our country would be protesting in the streets for BLM. I hope the new normal is a better place.
Southern Adirondack Library System
“Jack,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed January 21, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/119.