After a hiatus last week because of the United States holiday Memorial Day, we’re resuming our weekly updates on how our lives are being impacted by coronavirus and the related shut-downs. As everywhere begins to reopen, uncertainty remains high, especially for those of us in high-risk populations. Will it ever feel safe again?
Laura: As I mentioned yesterday, my thoughts have been consumed by the recent police and vigilante violence against Black people in the United States, so much so that my thoughts are not often wandering to COVID-19. Part of that, for sure, is because Utah is largely acting like things are normal, with the exception of the businesses that remain closed. I was able to get a much overdue haircut (we both wore masks), and I have been swimming at the pool at the local rec center (they maintain 6-foot distancing throughout the gym). Both had a significant positive impact on my sense of well-being until the mid-week.
It often still feels surreal to me as I read about the devastation in New York and other urban areas from COVID-19 – we haven’t seen near to that devastation in my rural/suburban home yet. I hope we won’t. I think the diminished impact in our regions has contributed to a sense, at least here in Utah, that the virus isn’t serious or, at least, isn’t serious any more. I hope that we have escaped the terror that persisted in New York, California, Washington, and across the globe. I am aware that my safety and the devastation that has rocked the globe is in stark contrast to each other, and it reminds me of how privileged I am. It is a duality that I am striving to realize and accept every day.
Ellen: Aside from doctor appts I am continuing to remain at home. I did go out after hours to drop off my taxes. From everything I observed while driving around town it was business as usual: restaurant parking lots were full; I could see greeters at the entrances of various establishments waiting to welcome diners, none of which wore masks. Family members are sharing that very few people are wearing them in the grocery stores, either.
I am continuing to focus on the present day. I don’t allow my mind to wander into the future or else it becomes too overwhelming. Keeping to a routine and tending to my garden when I’m not painting helps immensely.
Ciara: Currently in Barbados food places are only open for take away and many businesses are still closed. A curfew remains in place, visiting the beach is restricted and going to the supermarket is on assigned days only. From next week the restrictions will lessen. Fortunately we have not had many new cases in recent weeks, The economic impact however is very evident. The Caribbean generally is a very expensive place to live; never mind the fact that tourism has stopped which accounts for 50% of the ecomomy in Barbados. Many people are in dire situations. It is nice to see that the community is pulling together to ‘help thy neighbour’; with various charity drives etc. However the reality is there will still be people are overlooked.
Monetta: It’s been over a month since my county had a confirmed covid case. We are opening up to regional travel soon. The past few weeks have been extremely difficult as I struggle with asthma while trying to figure out how to take start making money again. I created a petition to address the near constant fires that trigger my asthma.
Things were already difficult because I lost my job at the resort on Jan 3. Most of my clients have also lost their jobs due to covid. For now, I will be focusing on trying to get my youtube channel monetized so I can get some income rolling in. I am learning a lot about how to youtube right now even though I have very few productive days. Because yoga requires being in close proximity to others while breathing heavily, and I have asthma, I will no be teaching in person for several months as the authorities anticipate many more small waves of covid will happen. People only wear masks in stores here but nowhere else so I am really worried. Luckily for me many of my neighbors have given me food and I have gotten some paypal donations through youtube so I am not too worried about my lack of income.
Rose: Lots of reopening, including Indianapolis/Marion County this week and next. I did go up to the suburbs to swim in a pool twice this week. My Y will open Monday. There are changes to be safer, but I did nearly have an anxiety attack on the way there the first time. I’ve been busy with work and training so I haven’t really been out much more than I had been.
Right now I am reeling at the killing of Black people by police and the added sadness of riots happening in downtown Indianapolis. The pictures are breaking my heart. The city I love is hurting. I understand protests and riots. I understand the police culture is terrible and needs to change. I understand we are all culpable for systemic racism. But it hurts me to see vandalism, broken windows, graffiti and more violence. I feel on so many levels. People’s response to the virus and the restrictions is an added layer in the tension.
How are you coping? How is your community responding to the pandemic and protests?