Covid-History Item Type Metadata
Weedsport, NY USA
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?
When the library where I work had to close because of the risks caused by the virus, mid-March 2020, that was when the impact first hit me. Finding out about the first case in my town heightened my fears immensely.
How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic?
I always wear a mask now. I fear for the life of myself and my loved ones; I'm scared to go to malls and events and to go sit and eat at a restaurant. Not just because of the virus itself, but because of the anti-Asian sentiment that is growing in the United States and around the world. I fear that people will unjustly blame my mother and/or myself for the virus. I fear there are people who will want to do us harm because we are Asian and they blame Asians for the existence of COVID-19.
How are you feeling? What are you doing to relieve stress?
I am sad and frustrated at people who refuse to follow common sense and wear masks. People who don't respect social distancing rules or who otherwise go about blatantly ignoring those who are at more risk than they of dying from COVID-19, people who even deny the existence of the virus - these people cause me so much anger. To relieve stress, I try to journal or listen to my favorite music. I communicate with online communities with like-minded individuals who share my thoughts about COVID-19, but who will also challenge me to think critically so my beliefs won't swirl around in an echo chamber. I get comfort from being around intelligent people.
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
I think some people have become more understanding of those who had "less than" before the pandemic started. They know how frustrating it is to not be able to go out shopping or eating at a restaurant because of financial impacts. I'm surprised at how few people I've encountered through my job who refuse to wear masks. I'm sadly *not* surprised at how many people still wear them incorrectly, however.
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?
I'm not considered an "essential employee", but I work at a library where I have to face the public every day. Everyone who enters the building must use hand sanitizer when they enter and when they leave. If they use a computer, they are responsible for sanitizing the area after they are done. Staff cleans shared surfaces frequently. Everyone must wear masks and social distance. I'm making sure that at the very least when I come home from work, I change my clothes, wash my hands, and sanitize my phone and watch.
Did you have to postpone any major life events? (e.g. Graduation, wedding, major birthday) What did you do instead?
The birthdays of myself and both parents happened during quarantine. For myself, at least, I was planning on meeting with friends and having a party - something that as an introvert I wouldn't normally do. I had planned for 2020 to be the year that I would be more outgoing and try new things, maybe travel and eat new foods and meet new people. But for obvious reasons, I was not able to do any of this. We celebrated birthdays at home, but luckily we were able to get curbside takeout food.
Do you have animals? Did you adopt a pet? How have they impacted your day?
I own a bird. Seeing their "personality" and silly antics brings a smile to my face.
Did you or someone you know contract COVID-19? What was it like?
People I'm friends with online had been diagnosed with COVID-19. I was scared for them and their families because I knew they were suffering from the effects of the virus. I was scared they might die.
What do you wish you knew before the pandemic began?
I wish I knew just how foolish people would be - I wish I had known that people would refuse to wear masks and social distance. If they had followed rules and common sense, the pandemic would have been over in a matter of a few months instead of extending into a year or more.
What would you want future generations to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you recommend they prepare for it?
I want future generations to know that people will play politics with their health and safety. I would recommend that even if family or friends don't take precautions to guard against the virus, that they themselves should still do their best to ensure their own safety and those of the people around them. Also, don't hoard toilet paper or any other essential supplies. Take only as much as you need and save the rest for people who truly need it the most. Be prepared to confront loved ones who don't take the risk of COVID-19 seriously.
How do you think this pandemic will change how we behave going forward? What will the “new normal” look like?
I think the "new normal" will include wearing masks all the time, not just for the benefit of reducing the transmission of germs, but also to protect against allergens and pollution. I feel that some people will have learned important lessons about themselves and what they want out of life, for having been in quarantine/lockdown/having to endure restrictions has given them time to contemplate such things. But others will still go on as they were before the pandemic, sadly.
Southern Adirondack Library System
Finger Lakes Library System
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
“C,” Leaving Our Fingerprints on History, accessed August 19, 2022, https://fingerprints.sals.edu/omeka/items/show/353.