Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Wilton, 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 knew there was a sickness as I headed off to Paris for a 2 week vacation with my sister and some friends but I had no real understanding how serious it was. We left on January 27, 2020 and returned on February 8. I still heard little about COVID up until that point. On Friday, February 14, my 93 year old mother was hospitalized in Albany. I was with her every day until she was released to rehab a week later. My siblings and I took turns going to the facility to keep her company because they were short staffed and the care was lacking. In early March, she had a stroke and was completely incapacitated on her right side. She couldn’t eat, walk, or talk. So we took shifts every day to make sure she was fed. Shortly after, the facility shut down. That was the last time we saw our mother. She couldn’t speak to us on the phone and because of her dementia, she thought we had abandoned her. She died on April 26 with no contact from her family for 6 weeks. We couldn’t have a funeral so we have had no closure. My Mom’s ashes are in a closet at the funeral home waiting for the church to O.K. a service.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I haven’t seen my daughter since Thanksgiving because she doesn’t want to infect me.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
I feel sad that at a time in my life when I should be enjoying my golden years, I am confined to my home. I read a lot but it’s not as enjoyable.
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?
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
My mother’s funeral. Planning a wedding for my daughter. Canceled two European trips
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
I donated most of my stimulus check to organizations in need because I did not lose any income. I still work at a food pantry once a week. I led a drive to raise $12000 for the Regional Food Bank Backpack Program for my retirement group
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
I always wondered if my Mom had it given her symptoms.
If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?
My Mom. We haven’t yet.
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
I wish i’d known more about pandemics. I’ve spent a lot of time reading about them while sheltering in place.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
I hope this next generation honors science. I’m appalled that so many discredit the information that is out there as though it is there to make their lives inconvenient. I hope the mistakes we have made are well documented and that we could have saved thousands of lives if we’d listened to the experts. Governor Cuomo was a true leader!
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
I would like to think people would prepare for these dire situations by saving money, stocking food, and nurturing important relationships. They probably won’t though.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
“Barbara,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 10, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/126.