Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Porter Corners, 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?
In early March, we started to really pay attention and take a few precautions. Mostly, more cleaning and hand washing. March 16 has been solidified in my memory as the last day I went to work for months (though we were closed to the public), the last day my kids spent at their grandparents' house (our regular childcare help), and the last day I went to the grocery store (my husband has been doing any necessary errands as he is an essential worker and therefore already out of the house).
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I have been working from home for five months and almost never go out except for a walk or to be outside on the property. This has changed aspects of our family dynamic, our habits regarding food preparation and consumption, and how we spend our time.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
There have been ups and downs, new stresses that we had to figure out how to cope with. My husband and I have both invested time in learning (or re-learning) useful skills, such as sewing and gardening. It feels good to see the results of these endeavors.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
In the thick of things, we were taking a lot of family walks in the evenings. When everyone was home from work and school, all up and down our road there were families outside walking together, biking, gardening, and working outside. Not surprising really, but nice.
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 not essential (though still working from home), but my husband is. I cannot speak to the full list of precautions taken at his workplace, but to keep our home a "clean space" he re-showers immediately after coming home and wipes down anything he had with him at work. We have also been quarantining our mail and groceries/other purchases for three days. I feel lucky we have the space in the house to "indulge" in this.
Are you working from home? What adjustments or challenges are you experiencing?
I am working from home, thankfully only part-time. I have actually enjoyed this for the most part, as I have been able to work on a great variety of projects I am interested in as well as some continuing education efforts. I am happy to have no commute. The biggest challenge is to not get distracted by my three children or five pets. I have had to change my entire work schedule to work around my husband's hours so that we can trade off on watching the kids - I am so thankful for the flexibility I have been afforded in doing this.
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
I do have three kids at home. It has certainly been an experience! Most of the time it has been fine and not too different because the youngest two are 1 and 3 so they would be home, anyway. It was definitely challenging getting through online school with our eldest because no one really had adequate time to prepare for the situation (teachers, parents, students). There have been many times we have just all needed our space because of too much "togetherness"...it helped when the weather got warmer and we could spend more time outside. The situation has taken a toll on all of them socially and emotionally, increasing anxieties that were already present or creating new ones (am I raising a little germaphobe???). My 1-year-old seems to have lost all of her socialization skills since she is with me almost all the time. Even after the world gets closer to being back to normal, I foresee a lot of time spent undoing things like this that the quarantine has brought about.
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
My daughter had her first birthday in April. We didn't exactly postpone her party (we had all the grandparents over for a socially distant gathering outside) but it was certainly not the normal experience I wanted to remember or have us look back on in pictures. I really feel for those whose major events like weddings were affected or canceled.
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
At the start of the pandemic, we had our dog and one cat. Our cat was quite elderly and unfortunately passed away this summer. About a month later, we adopted four kittens which has been a (challenging) wonderful distraction! Our dog has loved having us home all the time, but I anticipate she will have an adjustment period when we start leaving the house more again.
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
We participated in the #518RainbowHunt, as did others in our neighborhood. This was such a small thing, but it was a positive thing for my 3-year-old to hold onto and get excited about in the earlier days when there was so much uncertainty.
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
How long it would last. We would have packed in more family visits with grandparents, that has been one of the hardest things.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
I would say that you can't necessarily anticipate how you will be affected until something like this happens. We only prepared a little more than we already were for events like power outages. I was raised to always think ahead and try to be prepared for emergencies, so we already had a supply of non-perishable foods and paper products. In general, not just going into a pandemic - don't wait until you are completely out of essentials before running to the store (especially with little kids). If you are in the habit of having things on hand (and live with enough space to have extra supplies), you are more likely to be able to avoid feeling forced into panic buying.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
I think given time, most things will go back to how they were. I think masks will be around for quite awhile, especially during flu season. I'm trying not to put too much effort into imagining the future, as there have been so many unprecedented happenings this year.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
“Jasmine,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed January 28, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/211.