Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Charlton, 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?
On March 13, 2020, I was supposed to go on a weekend trip with some friends. It was canceled due to concerns that the novel coronavirus was spreading up from the New York City area. Some of the girls did not want to stop at Thruway stops or go south at this time. My reaction was annoyance, quite frankly. I felt the six of us could easily avoid public spaces and enjoy our weekend at the Lake without going to restaurants or shopping as originally planned. Only during the following week did I really understand how this thing was going to impact our lives. My husband and daughters were sent home to work off site, my grandchildren's schools were closed and I found myself isolated between my single mom daughter's house (carrying for her 6-year old while mommy worked from home) and my own home. Then my reaction was no longer annoyed, but almost fearful. I began really paying attention to get educated in order to calm fears and gain some personal control over what I could.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I can't attend church, I can only see my older daughter and her family (including my only other grandchild) once a month from a safe distance, I can't hug or touch anyone, I use hand sanitizer all the time, I never browse shelves when I have to shop- opting to get in and out as fast as possible, I order more online, and I miss being with my friends in person.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
I am struggling at times with depression, for which I already take medication, but it hasn't overwhelmed me. I get outside as much as I can. Now that my husband has retired, I have help in being my granddaughter's daycare provider and that has helped me tremendously. I try to remain grateful because we have a steady retirement income, a safe, warm home, plenty of food, etc., while so many face uncertainty and worry that they will be able to make ends meet.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
More people are walking outside when the weather is good, We smile at each other more, I think, and in our community there seems to be more tolerance rather than less. I'm pleasantly surprised to observe more patience in people waiting in lines, distancing often accompanied by nods of understanding. But one of my favorite observations is that rainbows keep popping up everywhere to remind us that we are all in this together.
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 retired and my husband retired one week ago. We clean and disinfect the surfaces of our shopping goods and anything that has come in contact with those items beforehand. We wash our hands longer and more often than previously, keep hand sanitizer and masks in our cars (and use them), and do not ask anyone to come in for a cuppa anymore.
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?
Retirement has its benefits.
Are you working from home? What adjustments or challenges are you experiencing?
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
My husband and I share the daily care of our granddaughter during the week. At first it was pleasant and fairly easy, but as time went on it got more challenging. An only child, she has had no one but us, three adults, to play with for months. Her fears and frustrations are expected, but not always easily dealt with. It feels almost cruel to keep a child from playing with other children.
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?
The celebration of my husband's retirement was a family affair with a Zoom meeting while sharing dessert in two separate homes.
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?
Personally, I sewed over 160 face masks for family, friends, coworkers, church members, and as part of my quilt guild's efforts to meet requests in the thousands. I also contributed to a local homeless shelter and food pantry, among other smaller contributions of time or money.
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
Can't think anything I did or didn't know would have made a difference.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
I think the importance of hand washing and overall good personal hygiene practices should continue to be stressed.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
As much as I cringe to say it, I think hand shaking should be come a thing of the past, as well as hugging outside of our family circles (like in churches or nursing homes). I think we'll be putting on masks when flying for quite some time, too.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
“Lucinda,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 10, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/183.