Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Pico Rivera, California
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?
Although my first date of COVID-19 awareness was in early February, my first impact occurred on March 12, 2020. That was the day I received hordes of emails from my workplace, bank, church, library, my insurance, AAA, and even from Office Depot and Barnes & Noble, all about the Coronavirus. My boyfriend Mike had gone to Walmart earlier today, and he saw hordes of people grabbing cans of food, toilet paper, and bottles of water. He said many were just sweeping whatever was on the shelf onto their carts without even bothering to see what they were loading. Within a week, all the entrances to my workplace were bolted shut, except for one. I also had to contact the authorized temperature check of the day and be cleared before I could report for duty. Life seemed to drastically change so rapidly that it felt scary. Worry intensified on March 24 when the first case was reported in my city. Its location was determined to be 2 miles from my home. I also got to especially worry about a treasured high school friend who was living with HIV and other workplace friends with asthma.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I had to stop with my weekly visits with my mother and brother, a decision my mom had a hard time with as she seems to believe and act as if I have nothing and would starve to death. So, admittedly it was a nice break for me to be away from her highly anxiety-ridden, weekly helicoptering. However, things have gotten worse between me and my boyfriend as our views of the Coronavirus were total opposite. I firmly believe in taking precautions, and he thinks we have all been duped and overreacting. He’s vehemently vocal about all the decreased or lost jobs around him, and seems to blame me for the consequences of the economic lockdown. It got to the point where I even considered breaking up with him and living in the streets, as the talks got to the point of me shutting down. I was eventually counseled to request that he stop talking to me about the Coronavirus issue. I did and that has helped. As for work, my main stress has been about the frustration with getting supplies. First, I struggled for almost a month to receive masks, and now I’m on my fourth month without a phone.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
As of August 20, I am feeling better. I relieved stress by emailing friends and did some counseling.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
At first, there were reports of people helping each other out. We shared food, celebrated in other’s birthday or graduation,...Then in July, I felt unsafe after members of an online neighborhood watch forum got hateful with me for a view I had shared based on my experience. I felt the outrage so strongly that I wondered whether I would be accosted or physically attacked if any of them were to recognize me at the gas station or the supermarket. I called on some friends for prayer support for the hate I was feeling. After a week or so, the situation blew over and I returned to normal about errands around my city.
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 considered an essential employee. I do security at a dental manufacturing plant & administration. Precautions taken include a daily temperature check and screener questions, mandatory 6-foot distancing, and required facial covering. After one employee was sent home for emerging symptoms, the plant and administrative offices closed on a Friday, and cleaning crew was brought in to clean and disinfect. However, I was assigned to report to work, so the custodial manager insisted I be masked and gloved whenever I was inside. Fortunately, I had just received the mask and gloves the day prior. The precautions I tried to take at home was met with resistance from my boyfriend. For two weeks after my workplace got disinfected, I tried maintaining a 6-foot physical distance. He honored that on the first days. After that, he would dismiss it with “Flu season is over” or “Don’t be silly”. Fortunately, I didn’t succumb to the Coronavirus—that I know of.
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?
Not laid off or furloughed but feel bad at those at the administrative office who have. As a former adjunct faculty, I know what it’s like to be laid off.
Are you working from home? What adjustments or challenges are you experiencing?
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
No. Mike has two grown children and one 8-year-old granddaughter, all of whom are living with Mike’s ex-wife. I think of them from time to time, whether his free willing youngest disregard social distancing and bringing the virus home to his grandmother or how the 8-year-old granddaughter is doing with her education and the pressure of schools to reopen.
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
I had to turn down a baby shower appointment with my cousin because as an essential worker out in public, I don’t know if I could be an asymptomatic carrier.
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
Donated money to a few food pantries Offered to help a friend who had mentioned in her email that she was “not being confident of rent or meals”.
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
I’ve learned of my friends’ bouts with COVID-19 through Facebook. At first, it was like “Oh my God!” But then I learned they disclosed of the illness after they’ve beaten it. Fortunately, for them, it wasn’t that bad. However, I know about many others who weren’t as lucky.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
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“Lisa,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 10, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/216.