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?
The impact of COVID-19 first truly occurred to me in early March 2020. We had plans to travel to Long Island as our son was competing in the NYSPHSAA Boys Swimming & Diving Championships. Shortly before that, there was an outbreak in New Rochelle and suddenly the risk of COVID-19 seemed much more real.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
It varies and some days are worse than others. My main way to relieve stress is by spending time in nature.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
People seem to be much more reserved and less willing to smile when you see them in public spaces. However, I've also seen a great deal of generosity and many people helping each other through these challenging times. What has surprised me most is seeing people on social media who are anti-maskers and making nasty statements about those who are being cautious. I can't begin to understand it.
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 a librarian. As soon as we returned to the office after NY paused, we implemented daily sanitizing schedules, required masks, limited the number of people that could be in shared areas, developed a quarantine process for library materials, and initiated a daily screening questionnaire.
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?
I worked from home for a few months. It was very challenging to manage my work tasks and support my son with remote learning. I remember one day when I had a virtual meeting running on a laptop and had a session with school on an iPad at the same time. I was moving back and forth between the two and I think both parties wondered what was wrong with me that day.
Do you have children at home? How’s it going?
Yes. One son was in college during part of this pandemic and the other one was at home the entire time. I think that both of them adjusted to the changes much better than I expected.
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
Both of my sons graduated in 2020. After working so hard all of these years, they could not celebrate with our family and friends. For one son, they decided to postpone the ceremony. However, for my other son they had an outdoor ceremony and only immediate family members were allowed to attend. I had already ordered the party supplies and they are sitting in our basement...
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
We have our wonderful dog, Molly. She definitely brightens each day and provides comfort when we need it.
What positive things did you contribute to or notice take place?
I donated to a local group that collects money that is given to area waitstaff. I've noticed so many efforts by people to be supportive. Facebook groups such as 518 Rainbow Hunt group and COVID 19 North Country Neighbors Helping Neighbors are spreading positivity every single day!
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
My husband's uncle contracted COVID. He lived in Texas with no family living nearby. The hospital sent him home with oxygen and ended up passing away due to complications of the virus.
If you lost someone during the pandemic, how did you celebrate their lives?
There was a funeral service for my husband's uncle. It was delayed, but the family was eventually able to have one. He had always said that he wanted the women at his funeral service to wear hats, so many of us did.
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
I wish I had known that I would not be able to spend time with loved ones for so long. I would have taken advantage of every spare minute to be with them and get extra hugs.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
I want them to know how important it is for to wear masks and social distance. I want them to think about protecting others, especially those who are most vulnerable to illnesses. I want them to realize that if they live in an area that is not severely impacted, they need to stay vigilant or things will take a turn for the worse. I would also recommend that they buy toilet paper before the shelves are empty.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
Although many people are tired of virtual meetings and activities, I think that this will be a more common option for events in the future. I also hope that people will appreciate things that they previously took for granted.
Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn't already been asked above?
I would like to share some memories from a Facebook post that I wrote early in the pandemic. I had seen people recommending that we journal about our experiences, so I jotted down a few of my highlights from March. I mentioned the time that I went to the liquor store and when the clerk asked how he could help me, I asked if he had any toilet paper for sale. He laughed.￼ I also wrote about the time that I heard the North Country Co-Op actually had toilet paper in stock and how this was such exciting news. I walked there on my break and they were actually letting people buy two packages! It was bamboo toilet paper. Interesting. The worst part was the fact that I forgot to bring a reusable bag and had to walk through town carrying a package of toilet paper. I was actually clutching it in case anyone tried to steal it... Finally, I mentioned that while my heart ached for what everyone was going through, I saw so many examples of people coming together to help each other. I wrote that there is more good in the world than I ever believed possible. I closed with "Sending sanitized hugs your way..."
Southern Adirondack Library System
Southern Adirondack Library System
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
“Anja,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 10, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/317.