Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Ponca City, Oklahoma
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 first started hearing about Covid-19 in early March of 2020. To be honest, at the time I didn't think it was something that was a huge deal. Then as my family prepared to go out of state for spring break, I became more concerned. We went ahead and took our trip, however, and it was during this time we got word that our town had received its first case. Simultaneously, everything around us (on our trip) began closing down. Restaurants went to delivery or carry-out only, activities were canceled, and Covid-19 was the top story on every news channel. My anxiety skyrocketed. My family made the decision to cut our trip short, and I was extremely worried we would pick up this virus on the way home to quarantine.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
My husband worked from home at least part time for over a month, but even after he went back to work full time, my kids and I continued to social distance. It's been about five months now, and in that time my kids and I have not been to a public place besides necessary medical appointments. We haven't been in a grocery store or a restaurant or any nonessential place in all that time. We do go on hikes, bike rides, nature trails, etc. so that we're not totally cooped up. We have also made the decision to do virtual school for our kids this year, at least at first. Our hope is that the number of cases will drop, and we'll feel safe to put them back in school at some point this year.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
I struggle with anxiety on the best of days, so it's no surprise my anxiety has been high during all this. This has extended to my sleep being affected as well. To help combat stress, I keep up with my running routine. It's one thing that I've always found boosts endorphins while calming me at the same time.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
In some ways, it seems there has been a division in our community. The lines have been drawn between those who support wearing masks and those who do not. It has greatly surprised me that this topic has been treated in large part as a political issue rather than a medical issue.
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?
I'm a homemaker, so I've always worked from home, though it is different now. I don't want to expose my kids by taking them to a grocery store, so I'm having to be very organized and plan things ahead of time so that I can order groceries and other household items we need. Some services we received before, such as ABA therapy for my son with autism and violin and piano lessons, are being done virtually in order to limit exposure.
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
Yes. My kids are 9 and 12, and they have honestly acclimated better than I anticipated. They enjoy the simplicity and quietness of being at home, though we make sure they're still able to connect virtually with friends and family, and we get out at least every weekend to a social distancing activity... such as hiking. My kids are old enough to understand pretty well what is going on. My son, who has Aspergers, has shown some anxiety about returning to school eventually, but it's helped him to know we won't be sending him back to school until we feel it's safe to do so.
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?
I'm not a student, but my children are. They will be starting the year out with virtual school.
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
We weren't able to do a traditional birthday party for our son this year. We did an outdoor social distancing party with a couple family members.
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
We have pets, and they bring us so much joy through all of this.
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
I've loved seeing how innovative people have been during this time. We participated in a birthday drive-by parade for a friend of ours, and it was touching to see others come together to make it special.
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
My friend's father contracted the virus. He was fit, healthy, and in his 50's. He ended up passing away due to complications from the virus. It was shocking and very sad.
If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?
I didn't know my friend's father too well, but I do know they had to delay the funeral.
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
I wish I had known more about the alternative education platforms that exist so that decision would have been less overwhelming. I wish I had known that there WAS going to be a pandemic. I would have used the time more wisely - such as visiting elderly family members whom it's not safe to visit now.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
I don't know if there is really knowing how to prepare for a pandemic because it's not something you ever expect to happen. It did become very apparent very quickly, however, that it's always a good idea to have two weeks of meals and household essentials on hand, in case anything like this ever happens. I guess I would say that as crazy as it is to believe something like this could happen to you, it really CAN happen. In a country that is as advanced as we are medically, I always took for granted that pandemics were a thing of the past. And yet it still happened. I'm learning to love and appreciate my family more than ever, and I've found even more meaning in the quality time I have with them.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
That's something I've wondered, but I don't know. How long will it be best to wear a mask? To social distance? I'm hoping eventually we can get back to where these things aren't needed.
Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn't already been asked above?
I think, as horrible as this pandemic is, it's given me a new outlook in some ways. We were a family who liked to be on the go before Covid-19 hit us. Since social distancing has become our new normal, I've come to really appreciate slowing down, enjoying even the mundane moments, finding joy in the simple things like putting a puzzle together with my family or going for a walk. As busy as we are as a country, I think there's a lesson there for all of us to take time to slow down, enjoy the simple things, and focus on the things that truly matter.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
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“Amber,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 10, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/205.