How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you, your family or your community?
COVID has affected our family, I would imagine, similarly to other families. I’m a teacher, and had mere days to convert my pedagogy to a virtual environment, and guide my department to do the same. At the same time, I have a 3rd and 4th grader who were thrust into the melee of online learning. One of them has learning disabilities, and it was a tough spring quarter for them.
What has been the most difficult part of this experience? What inspired you or gave you hope?
The most difficult part has been the lack of personal contact. I’m the quintessential type A person, and thrive on people’s energy. Meetings through zoom are great, but still gave me a lack of personal touch. I’m glad I had my family, but not being able to engage in society was really depressing. Still is. What has inspired me is the tentacity of people, and kindness. My peers have gone the extra mile to see that others are doing okay. Staying off social media is a plus.
Have you experienced a significant life event since this began?
I’ve lost 2 family members – one due to COVID, the other natural causes. I could not attend either of their funerals or services. I was able to view one virtually, but seeing the attendees in masks paying their respects was maudlin too me.
Have you witnessed acts of kindness in your neighborhood like neighbors shopping for the elderly, collective block dance parties, the cheering of First Responders?
Drive through teacher parades, drive through graduations and virtual commencements were awesome and inspired the young, hard-working students. Lots of our neighbors checked in on each other and there were many advertisements for offers too shop for the elderly or compromised.
How do you think life will or will not be the same after we emerge from sheltering in place?
What changes will you be making going forward? Working at home will now be more common. Masks worn in public will be the norm. Fewer people gathering and deliberate spacing at events will be common. I hope people will be more generous with time, energy and kindness.
Submitted by Colleen Twomey, San Luis Obispo County – Arroyo Grande.