Mackenzie

Covid-History Item Type Metadata

Age

55

Date

8/27/2020

Location

Saratoga Springs, 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?

Heard about the first cases in China in winter, 2019. By February, 2020, we were in local "lockdown".

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

There isn't an aspect of daily life it hasn't changed, from interacting with others, to getting basics like food and medicine, and in Saratoga Springs - a 'destination location' where people travel to globally for the summer and the races - the normally busy summer season is vastly changed. All entertainment venues are closed - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Caffe Lena, all local indoor theaters - and the racetrack is running races MINUS spectators. People can bet on the races online, but cannot attend in person. Restaurants and bars, if open, generally are only for dining outdoors - and some streets are partially closed to allow them to use the sidewalks and even parts of the street to set up dining outdoors.

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

The longer the virus continues to spread without an effective treatment, the more of a toll it seems to be taking on everyone, including friends and neighbors as we pass a full half year without any true health fixes for the problem (outside of avoiding all contact with others - which isn't a viable option for anyone!)

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

People simply are not out and about (which is for their own safety) unless necessary. I went to the concert broadcast live by a group of friends from Caffe Lena last week - I was one of four (masked and distanced) people there other than the musicians and those broadcasting the concert. Live music was SO strange (and good!) to hear for the first time since winter - and I wondered how many others had not heard live music since then, either...

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?

I work from home, so fortunately did not have a storefront to close, but the store where I sell my painted pieces only reopened this summer; many for limited hours and most with far fewer customers than normally busy vacation/track season.

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

n/a

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?

n/a

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

Most difficult challenge is that I don't drive, and many service-based businesses are "drive-through only" so it has been difficult to get items I may not know I need quickly. (If time isn't a concern, I can order items online which are delivered in a few days by mail.) But I have to ask friends or neighbors if it's an emergency - and most of them are not at home during the day when stores are open.

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

n/a

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?

n/a

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

Far more than usual. Majority of contact with friends, most shopping, and to see movies and hear 'outside world' programming like BBC World Service when desired.

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

All major parties and friends' events were postponed; sometimes they became a small, properly masked and distanced gathering in a yard or on a porch. I went to one birthday where I could see people were not masked and there were more than permitted sitting too close together. I left before anyone could see me due to the lack of responsible safety!

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

I have been trying to adopt a specific breed of (adult) dog, so I could be sure it was quiet as I live in a subdivided old home and need to know in advance it's not a noisy dog. The rescue I have adopted from in the past is closed due to interstate transport and quarantine safety issues. :(

What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?

I have been doing more community artwork - and also encouraging people to be more forgiving of each other in social media exchanges. We don't need added stress in an already difficult time! But in my immediate neighborhood, people do seem to be more supportive and giving than usual.

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

n/a

If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?

n/a

What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?

Wish we knew how to convince the Trump administration and its Republican senate to take this lethal - and still incurable - virus seriously instead of calling it "a hoax" and telling trusting Americans that it would "disappear," while casting aspersions on the medical doctors and scientists who were trying, early on, to raise appropriate alarms and get the administration to act in the best interests of the American people. Because science and medicine were ignored, the United States is as divided now as at any time since the Civil War - and we have the highest virus infection AND death rate in the WORLD, with all the harm to families, jobs, communities and our entire way of life that upending an entire economy and social system entails.

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

Education is key. Children need to be taught to value and trust PROVEN FACTS above rumors and propaganda - and how to effectively tell one from the other so that they can both understand and share that proven knowledge with others. That way, if a leader tells them one thing while science clearly shows them another - like U.S. President Trump asserting that a proven lethal pandemic is "a hoax" and will "disappear" when science shows it is killing increasing numbers of people across the globe on a daily basis - they will have the education and skills to dismiss and ignore such harmful propaganda, and have methods and media in place to assure that correct, fact-based information is distributed to (and believed by) all. That way, the safest approach to whatever threat can be speedily enacted, and the brightest minds of their time can be put to use to solve the problem quickly and permanently. Funds and equipment should be set aside and protocols created in advance so that when the next critical national or international health challenge appears, the country need only enact the proper health and safety protocols the minute the problem is declared an epidemic, if not sooner!

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

Sadly, at present, it seems that the misinformation continuously provided by President Trump and his administration on everything from the severity of the virus and its likely duration to dismissing for months its ONLY proven prevention method (universal mask wearing, distancing and thorough sanitary washing) and his continuing refusal to mandate those methods for the U.S. public nationwide has led to a mistrust of science, medical practice and even of fact-based and researched journalism that may take decades or longer for the U.S. to recover from - if at all. The "new normal" created as a result are families, friends and neighbors who don't speak with each other depending on whether they accept or deny scientific fact; the thousands of people who died - on track to to be more than were killed in America's World Wars - all because the country did not adopt a uniform medical plan or response to the virus, making the U.S. the global leader in COVID-19 infections and deaths - and a resulting loss of American homes, jobs and fundamental security for all but the wealthiest citizens (who became even wealthier as the rest lost both income sources, savings and more). All of this points to a "new normal" which is likely to be far more difficult for most Americans than any of us yet know. And I'm writing this while our "Capital Region" area is being described as one of the virus "hot spots" in New York State where we (unlike New York City, which saw first-hand its hospitals overwhelmed and bodies needing to be placed in refrigerated trucks in hospital parking lots because storage areas inside the hospitals were full) did not have an early high death/infection rate to frighten the necessary majority into adopting safe public health precautions. So we have a local virus infection rate here which is still GROWING - with no reliable medical treatment yet available - and a vaccine which is only still in the development phases. So it seems far too early to wonder what the "new normal" truly will look like, when it appears we're still very much in the throes of the old nightmare. (I write this as today's used cloth masks are having their nightly soak in their very hot, soapy water, soon to join yesterday's hanging to dry before they are used once again for any public outing...)

Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn't already been asked above?

If you are reading this in future, I hope it's with shock for the previous times when medical science and technology hadn't eliminated viruses and similar fatal conditions and infections - and that yours is a far safer, healthier, peaceful and equal world for all!

Dublin Core

Title

Mackenzie

Subject

COVID-19 (Disease)

Publisher

Southern Adirondack Library System

Contributor

Southern Adirondack Library System

Rights

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Language

English

Type

Covid History

Identifier

11940200850

Coverage

Coronavirus Pandemic

Citation

“Mackenzie,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed January 21, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/210.

Output Formats

Geolocation