Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Ballston Spa, 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?
I began hearing about it in February, but really thought it wasn't anything more than a flu-type illness. On March 13th - and this was very sudden- we learned that the schools were closing for a month. Suddenly it became very scary. A friend and I went shopping to stock up on things and there was already no toilet paper anywhere. Even then I didn't realize it would be the last time I got to shop with a friend for who knows how long. Back then we weren't even wearing masks, just washing our hands a lot.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I'm on furlough from my job running a before-and-after school program, which is actually good because I have a 6th grader at home as well as an almost-3-year-old whose sitter is now only open part time. So I have been a stay-at-home Mom which I LOVE and I'm already sad that I will have to go back to work when it resumes. We grocery shop once a week and do not go anywhere else- except that we have been going hiking every weekend, which I love, and we go out for ice cream as much as possible to get the kids a treat. We also bought our toddler's birthday power wheels almost two months early because it made us very sad when she would ask over and over to go to the playground and we had to tell her it was closed. Usually at this time of year we would be spending a lot of time at playgrounds, and making plans to go to the county fair, Irish Fest, and camping. Not this year. I also had tickets to two big concerts, one of which got cancelled and the other postponed until next year.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
I am feeling much better now that the initial chaos is over. I actually really like being home with my kids, and the extra unemployment money is making it so that we are lucky enough not to feel it financially. We hike a lot. I play with the kids. We get a lot of ice cream. I am nervous about going back to work- I work with kids, and they are very germy on the best of days. I'm also not sure how my job is going to look when it resumes.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
Just the obvious- take out only, wearing masks, playgrounds closed. I have seen so many people on the hiking trails. My little girl has learned to stay away from people (which makes me sad) but she yells HI at them, and people always say hi back.
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?
I am not, but my husband works for DOL- unemployment. He has been working from home since the beginning of April.
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 am furloughed as of March 16th, but my employer was able to pay us for another month. Getting unemployment was a huge struggle, but I did get it successfully. My health insurance is through my husband so we're good there.
Are you working from home? What adjustments or challenges are you experiencing?
I'm not, but my husband is. My daughter likes to "help" him so I'm sure that's interesting for him.
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
My son is almost 12. There have been a lot of battles over school work and video games, but I'm sure at his age there would be lots of battles anyway. My daughter is almost 3, and her licensed in-home sitter is still open part time, so my daughter still goes part time to maintain her spot and her schedule. Our sitter has been part of our life for 11 years and we trust her implicitly, and it is a very small place with only a couple of other kids. My daughter loves it there. The other days she is home with us, and we've been having a lot of fun exploring trails, playing in her sandbox and wading pool, and making baked goods!
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?
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
My son's 12th birthday party. We are holding a day-long, assigned-time birthday party for my daughter in July with masks and social distancing.
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
Three cats, who could care less that we are home more. Except the youngest one who LOVES US SOOOO MUCH. My son's hamster died and we had to go to Petsmart with masks on to get a new one. Her name is Liza.
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
I feel like I have been in touch with my friends more as we are all checking in on each other. The 518 Rainbows are awesome and my daughter did one that is in our window. The Barenaked Ladies have been doing weekly Selfie Cam Jams, and their lead singer has been doing weekly hour-long free shows to raise money for charities.
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
No one I know who is close to me. My cousin's father-in-law passed away from it, and my sister's best friend's husband had it but recovered.
If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
How serious things were going to get so quickly
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
More research needs to be done on how we can prepare for and prevent things like this. Our president was a FAILURE and handled it very poorly.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
I have no idea. None at all. I feel like we still don't know the first thing about this illness and we are reopening too quickly, and the number of cases is going to skyrocket in a couple weeks.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
“Rachael,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 10, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/121.