Covid-History Item Type Metadata
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?
Early to mid March as I recall. I know we had two couples over to our house for dinner on March 15. We thought about cancelling, but everyone said they were Ok, so went ahead with the little party. A week later, we wouldn't have had company. I started to be more careful when I went to the grocery store, and I started to buy a few more non-perishables to have on hand. At that point, though, I had no idea of the severity and length and impact of the situation.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I am in the house a lot more. I learned how to use Zoom and have attended many classes and talks. I checked out bookstores and museums and libraries for interesting sessions. My church Sunday School continued on Zoom. My husband picks up ordered groceries at the supermarket so we don't have to go in. He has become an ace at making online shopping lists. He found if he only ordered one kind of a thing and the store didn't have it and didn't substitute, we would end up with nothing. So he started ordering three of a thing (like three different packages of Klondike Bars, hoping to get one). Then when we find out the store had all three items, we are swimming in ice cream. Oh, darn! (not). My friends are now calling the double and triple ordering "doing a Vince (my husband's name)." I have visited several friends on their front lawns or front porches. I have walked a lot more. We temporarily cancelled our house-cleaning service, and now we are doing all of it ourselves. I used to go out at least once a week for lunch with a girlfriend, and my husband and I would go out with another couple for dinner once a month. Not now. Also, we had tickets to a play and several musical shows for the summer that have all been cancelled and refunded. I am watching a little more TV and catching up on some movies I have on my to-watch list. Friends are sharing things they've seen and enjoyed on TV. I have my mask and disinfectant wipes in my car at the ready. My local art theater (which of course is closed) is still selling popcorn with curbside ordering. I've eaten several big tubs of yummy theater popcorn. I am a to-do list maker by nature, but I now enjoy making my daily list (of mostly mundane things like laundry or an email to respond to). My day feels more structured when I have actual things to do. Like a lot of people have said, I am having a hard time remembering what day or date it is. I have a little calendar right by my bed so I can quickly consult and get the day and date in my head if need be. I almost like when the weather is cold or rainy, because that more justifies me sitting in the house reading. When it's sunny, it reminds me I used to be out with friends.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
I'm retired and on a fixed but relatively high income and have $$ saved, so I haven't had to worry about a job or paying bills. I am not so much stressed as worried for my kids' futures (both are in committed relationships, but it's not a normal time). I'm hardly ever bored in the house, but I am wondering when I can travel again. I have tried to use the time to get little projects done around the house, with only some success. I love to read, and I've done a lot of it, but I don't want to sit in my chair all day reading. I also have been talking on the phone more to my family and friends. I have a trip to the west coast planned for the end of July, and I don't know if planes will be safe and National Parks will be open. My mom turns 95 in August (in Arizona), and I would desperately love to be there for her birthday. But I don't want to risk my health or (especially) hers. I am not really stressed about my possible travel--the right decision will become clear in time. Both my adult children are elementary school ESL teachers, so they have had to fight the technology and call parents and students to start distance learning. They also had to explain in Spanish what parents needed to do to get their kids connected. But they still have jobs and a paycheck. Luckily, both of my girls (almost 33 and almost 31) are savers and have a cash reserves. My husband is a natural worrier and instilled in them the need to have cash on hand, probably not envisioning a pandemic, but for any kind of emergency or crisis.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
I live in the DC metro area, so we have an educated population but lots of immigrants and underserved communities. I haven't gone out much (or attended mass pool parties!) so I don't know how much people are following the rules. People in my neighborhood have been very good about keeping their distance when we pass on walks. Just in general, more things are online, like church and school and meetings and happy hours.
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?
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?
Not a major event, but I did have a trip planned to California in May to reunited with two high school buddies. Then I was going to drive to see my Mom. That all was scrubbed.
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 think Zoom and similar platforms are saviors. You really feel like you connected with the people. More strangers wave and say hello when I'm out walking.
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
Maybe how long it might last.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
That it's not a science fiction movie--it can really happen. We all have to bear witness.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
I think for a long time we will look at big crowds differently. I don't know about the handshake, but it might disappear.
Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn't already been asked above?
Thanks for doing this project. I forgot to mention I am watching a lot more news. Thanks for all the reporters and crews who bring us the news. One thing I am worried about is all the crazy-stupid-selfish people who fight the rules. They say, oh if I get it, it get it. Let's just have fun. Yeah, just have fun while your grandmother (or your mother) dies. I am afraid for the future of the country and the lack of someone with a decent IQ at the helm. If we have all these deniers and freedom-loving, gun-toting people, I don't know how our country can survive long term. Seems like we need to be two countries: the smart people and the stupid people. Gosh, how judgmental is that? I had a crazy idea some of my friends thought was interesting: Put a little semi-permanent tattoo on the arm of every violator or protester or naysayer. Then when they come to the emergency room sick and you see the tattoo, you can tell them to go home and "be free to solve the sickness on your own without all that government interference--like hospitals." It will be the same people who said the government can't tell them what to do who will whine and sue when the government doesn't do enough to save them and their families. How's that for finale?
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
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“Colleen,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed January 21, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/157.