Covid-History Item Type Metadata






Bedford, England

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 suppose when I read about it in the news. I was reassured by the low percentage death rate but didn't really have any idea of what the effects on life might be. I was apprehensive as I saw reported cases moving closer and closer to where I live but felt sure that if we all followed the advice from experts it would be OK.

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

In some ways not too different: I was already semi-housebound with chronic fatigue and arthritis, but was expecting to have a hip replacement shortly, which would have made a great difference. Unfortunately the operation was postponed at the last minute in March 2020 for medical reasons (I was found to have anaemia) and because of the pandemic I have still not been able to have it and nor have I been able to have the increasing pain and stiffness in my knees and shoulders - the latter exacerbated by having to use crutches - investigated or treated. So I am even more disabled than I was before - I can now no longer drive a car, and find even the mobility scooter difficult - and because of lockdowns am unable to have visitors or get help at home.

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

Trapped and lonely. Very worried about the long-term effects of being unable to exercise, and afraid that muscle atrophy might prevent surgery. Depressed by the state of the house and the garden. I read escapist fiction or history (luckily I have a lot of books) and spend a lot of time on my computer, mostly doing puzzles or on Facebook.

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

I haven't been out enough to notice much.

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?

No, I'm retired

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?


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?


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

Facebook has been my lifeline - pretty much the only contact I've had with friends and family. Churchservices.tv has also been a great help, streaming live church services pretty much throughout the day - I've been able to get to church more often online than I had been able to physically. We've had a few family Zoom gatherings and a couple of other groups I belong to have had them as well. I don't know what I'd have done without the Internet.

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

My niece's wedding last July was postponed for a year - we just hope it will be able to go ahead this coming July.

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


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

While it lasted, the 'Clap for Carers' initiative* was an inspiring thing to take part in, which did enhance community feeling. But it wasn't something that could be kept up forever and the attempt to revive it this month wasn't a good idea. *Here in Britain we would go out at a certain time every Thursday evening for a few weeks and give a round of applause for health service workers to thank and encourage them. Children drew pictures of rainbows for the same reason and put them up in the front windows of their homes.

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

Not me or anybody close to me. But somebody I used to work with died of it - he was only 54 - and another person I knew slightly from work had it very seriously and has lost her hands and feet to sepsis because of it. I have heard of a couple of friends who tested positive but had no ill-effects, but otherwise have been quite surprised that nobody I know seems to have had it.

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

A couple of friends have died and I was able to go to their funerals online - I probably wouldn't have been able to go physically anyway, but it was very sad to see such sparse, meagre rites for people who should have had packed chapels and hearty singing. I felt very sorry for their families.

What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?

I don't think foreknowledge would have helped me personally

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

More than ever people need to know how to identify reliable sources of information! The sheer quantity of hoaxes, rumours, quackery and conspiracy theories flying around cyberspace has undoubtedly cost lives and they cannot be suppressed at source. The only way to combat them is by education.

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

I think I'll wait and see.

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

I think the biggest confusion among the public has been between what measures are necessary to protect oneself as an individual and those designed to hinder the spread of infection among the population at large. Too many are thinking "I'm young, I'm safe enough" or "If it's safe to go and buy food it's safe to go and drink beer" and breaking the rules because they haven't understood this. People in authority need to get this across.

Dublin Core




COVID-19 (Disease)


Southern Adirondack Library System




Southern Adirondack Library System


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




Covid History




Coronavirus Pandemic


“Elizabeth,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 19, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/316.

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