Stephanie

Covid-History Item Type Metadata

Age

44

Date

7/8/2020

Location

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?

It first occurred when I heard a public radio news broadcast with an interview with Governor Cuomo, in mid February. Along with talking about bail reform, He said there was a virus from China and they are monitoring the airports in NYC, taking temperatures. He said they found 7 people with fevers. I remember thinking that this is very peculiar...it was the first time I heard about COVID

How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?

I’ve been through an extreme emotional roller coaster. COVID changed me forever. I’ve feared it, hated it, embraced it and learned who I am from it.

How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?

I met a man, our first date, on the day that business’ were due to close and socializing was ending at 8pm that night. He and I became fast friends and we had a beautiful love affair. That relationship saved me, kept me feeling alive. He worked at the hospital and I am an essential worker at a local non profit agency. My job kept me traveling throughout the pandemic. I was a frequent driver on the Northway. We’d survive work during the day and seek solace with each other at night...cooking together, discussing every little change that came along, trying to making sense of the chaos and the dreaded unknown. And the politics...we talked for hours about politics. And we made love...it healed us. It felt forbidden but he was my lifeline. The pandemic has come to a slow pace and we have parted ways peacefully...but he still makes me smile.

What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?

People are skittish, on edge and suspicious. People are overtly judgmental. On the flip side, people came together to support one another. Sharing food, personal care items and making masks. I think people have also become numb to the obvious contradictions and inconsistencies of this pandemic. So much was not logical or consistent.

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?

n/a

Are you an essential employee? What do you do? What precautions are being taken at your workplace? What precautions are implementing at home?

Yes, I am an employment specialist. I have supported my clients (adults with developmental disabilities) in their jobs. They were nearly all working and I was right there with them supporting them as long as I could. My agency provided me with a laptop to be able to work from home if I chose to. I would alternate between home and the office. I also filled in for several roles in my agency when the need arrived. I worked janitorial shifts in March cleaning my office building. It was risky but there was hardly anyone around. I couldn’t go to the YMCA anymore so this was my workout. I has also had a relapse of my PTSD in January and my workplace had been a trigger. Spending time in the building cleaning every square inch helped me overcome my fear and work is a beloved place now, no longer a trigger. I made peace with a lot during that phase of my job. In addition, I covered working the reception desk and any other roles I could fill. I worked in one of the residential homes on the weekend. Work kept me grounded and gave me a purpose. Our executive director gave us workers a letter explaining we were essential workers, just in case we were stopped by the police for not being at home. I never had to show my letter but this frightened me just the same everyday that I worked. I also became determined to find as many cloth masks for my colleges and the people we support. I’m a single mom with not a lot of money but I spent hundreds of dollars obtaining hundreds of mask for my agency. I wanted everyone safe...that was so important to me. A lot of angels out there making masks. I shipped in masks from all over the country from woman hard at work at their sewing machines...safety was my number one priority and I took every precaution everyday at work. Twice coworkers I may have come into contact with tested positive. This wrecked me thinking I could have been exposed but it was determined I never was. That fear is so terrible you cannot breath. I took deep breaths lot and had to talk myself out of the panic surrounding COVID At home, my two sons and my father immediately went into a quarantine. I rarely let my sons (both teenagers) out of the house. We all moved during the pandemic. It’s a miracle and a blessing I found a new place Tom live so quickly. The process of moving was a welcome distraction for the pandemic. It was a pleasure which is funny because moving is typically one of the great stressors of life. Purging our belongings was cathartic. This pandemic, the move...it was the beginning of something new in our lives. I was determined to stay positive and make this a positive experience for my sons...we are all settled in now and happier than ever in our new 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?

No, this upsets me. Essential workers take all the risk and see none of the reward. Unemployed people have zero risk and see $600 + a week. I only make a fraction of this and mad working myself ragged some days...another example of the illogical.

Are you working from home? What adjustments or challenges are you experiencing?

When workin* from home, I could unpack and still do work at the same time. It was a beautiful bit of timing in my life. Working from h9me saved me. I could help my sons with schoolwork and still earn a living. A LOT of flexibility....I hope we can still work from home after pandemic.

Do you have children at home? How’s it going?

My sons, 17 and 16, held up exceptionally well. They completed all their school work, with a lot of difficulty though. They had a hard time staying motivated. I’ll be honest, I’m grateful they were in high school during this...I could not have handled helping little ones through this lol...now THOSE are some special parents. Kudos to them!! My oldest was a senior in high school...it was touch8 g seeing the community rally for him and his fellow graduates, making their last year of school as special as they could. There were quarantine senior 2020 yard signs we displayed and adopt a senior program witch would mail my sone goodies throughout the pandemic. They handled it s9 incredibly well...it was not easy. My oldest son is 21 and a senior in college. He lives in Albany on his own now and it was heartbreaking to not see him. He did come up and helped us move.

How are you using social media, the Internet, or digital platforms during the pandemic?

I used Facebook a lot. 518 Rainbow Group, fun games with friends and uplifting content. I also used the internet to research the political scene and gather as much truthful info as I could. Cuomo’s daily breaking just to see what would happen next.

Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?

Cancelled: 2 proms, 1 senior trip, 2 graduations and my youngest son not able to get his drivers permit (the DMV closed just days before his 16th birthday—the party also cancelled)

Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?

My cat was happy we were all home all of the time to feed her more lol

Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?

My cousin in Long Island contracted it, quarantined for 17 days and recovered. A coworker died from it along with 2 clients my agency supported.

What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?

That I will not get COVID. That I will need toilet paper.

What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?

Practice self care and have a goodnight circle of support...you need people to get you through.

How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?

I wish I knew...I’m scared for the moving forward. This will have a strong impact for years to come. I pray it’s positive in ways I cannot imagine...

Dublin Core

Title

Stephanie

Publisher

Southern Adirondack Library System

Language

English

Type

Covid History

Identifier

11773093760

Citation

“Stephanie,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 10, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/134.

Output Formats

Geolocation