Covid-History Item Type Metadata
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?
Early March. I have taken the virus seriously and remained diligent about staying safe the whole time.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I've worked nonstop since the pandemic hit, in order to keep the small business I work for running. Men don't tell me to smile as much because my mask covers half of my face. Also I am more aware of ableism as it's very clear most people don't care if the old, sick, or disabled are dying.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
I'm feeling like I can't believe our government did NOTHING while hundreds of thousands of their citizens are dying. To relieve stress I try to practice gratitude for what I have. Or I sleep for 10 hours. Whatever works.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
Most tourists and/or very affluent locals seem to think the virus can't touch them here, so they disregard our mask rules and they treat employees like garbage if they are asked to comply. I wish I could say this has surprised me, but they automatically get better healthcare simply by being wealthy, so the virus truly isn't as much of the threat to them and they are used to being treated like they're special.
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'm not the owner but as one of the only managers I worked 35 hours a week when we were shut down. Two days a week I was entirely alone in the shop. It was the worst 3 months of my life and I hardly remember it because every day felt the same. We've adjusted things as needed going forward with reopening and again during the holidays.
Are you an essential employee? What do you do? What precautions are being taken at your workplace? What precautions are implementing at home?
Yes, apparently. I help manage a small business. We enforce our mask rule much to the dismay of those I previously mentioned. We sanitize constantly, and limit the number of people inside the building. That's all we can do really. I wash my hands as soon as I get home, change out of my work clothes, and wash my mask so it will be dry the next morning. I don't go anywhere I don't need to go, except for the occasion coffee shop where I get a to-go drink and tip 50%.
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?
God, I wish.
Are you working from home? What adjustments or challenges are you experiencing?
I have multiple roles at my company and I have also been working from home as well as in person. The challenges have more to do with my upstairs neighbors playing leapfrog/riverdancing in steel toed boots/running a fight club than anything tech related.
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
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?
I watched my best friend's wedding over Zoom, same with Thanksgiving, and this is the first year since I was born that I won't be going home for Christmas.
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
I wish :(
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
I have been messaging friends out of the blue to check on them (I already did this but I've been doing it more now) and it seems to really make their day. There is a bit more of a discussion about UBI which is nice, but I doubt it will go anywhere because Americans are terrified of anything deemed "socialism" even if it means saving lives.
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?
N/A thank goodness
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
I wish I knew how selfish others truly were. I wish I had braced myself for how many people I would come to dislike after seeing that they don't care if immunocompromised people like me get sick and die if it means they can be maskless and walk around town getting wasted at bars and eating out at restaurants.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
It sucked mainly due to capitalism and the lack of any sort of structural support in place. People were told "go to work, but you can't have fun" so of course idiots disobeyed. They'd send retail folks and baristas and restaurant workers into the trenches so someone's business can survive, but not without human lives being forsaken. There is no safety net in place for millions of Americans who are now homeless after being evicted, who have to steal baby formula from stores in order to feed their children, who have gone to work sick because their employer doesn't give them sick days and who can't afford a doctor because they have no insurance. I dunno man it's pretty horrifying if you look at the big picture for even a second.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
I don't have any faith that anything will change. People are so desperate to go back to how things were, they don't consider that for a lot of people, the way things were was awful. They'll go back out to bars and go back on vacations, spreading their germs wherever they please. Then there will be lots of people who remain at a distance, who don't share beverages with their family, who wave instead of shaking hands.
Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn't already been asked above?
I'm still at a high risk of contracting the virus due to my autoimmune conditions, so the pandemic is something that won't just leave my mind immediately. I'm being extra cautious for myself and for those I love. I wish careless strangers had the same kind of respect for themselves and the people in their lives.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
“Untitled,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed December 8, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/282.