These are trying times and we are all being affected. This pandemic means a different way of life for the next coming months, sending ripples of shutdown across the globe. On a lighter note, we are living through history, and we requested the help from our community to record it. While it might be something we all want to avoid thinking about right now, it’s something we will want to remember down the road. Everyone’s stories and feelings are valid, and we want to hear yours. If you would like to submit you own perspective, email it to [email protected] As a staff, the LN North Star has gathered multiple distinct perspectives from the community in dealing with this hectic time. Today, we will be focusing on responses from a variety individuals in the community.
Elosie Weddington, lives in California
My life made a drastic change due to the Covid-19 effect, and this adjustment is challenging. For instance, working from home is the norm for those that aren’t essential workers. Yet millions of hard-working individuals are unemployed because their job is not necessary. Homeschooling used to be an option, but now it’s a requirement; and online courses for secondary education is the only way to pursue a degree for the unforeseeable future. The majority of the United States is on a Shelter in place order, only allowing for grocery shopping, getting medicine, brief outdoor exercise, and checking on family. All must be done with a face mask to keep from contracting the virus.
Currently, I only go outside when necessary and never go out without a face mask, googles, and gloves. I no longer take my time to shop but quickly get what I need and am always on alert since a person can be asymptomatic and still infect another person. So, you never know who is infected. I always wash my hands, use sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and spray with hopes of killing any virus in my personal space . Since I consider myself as a high-risk person due to asthma, I try to stay indoors as much as possible .
I have a new respect for doctors and nurses and saddened that their duty call may also be investous. All I can do right now is my part in keeping the virus from spreading, and that is staying at home. I appreciate the fact that I still have food to eat, enjoy television, the internet, and talking to family . Other countries do not have this luxury, so my uneasiness is not so bad. I will never take the comforts of life for granted again as I try to adjust to this inevitably new way of life. May Godbless us all.
Sean Humes, 2017 LN graduate
I had been keeping track of Coronavirus for a while before the pandemic got worse in the United States. When it was small and only in China, I wasn’t that worried. As things got worse there, I knew the same thing was going to happen here. It wasn’t surprising to me and I really just felt irritated that we didn’t prepare for this sooner. Obviously I’m now considerably more indoors than before. I don’t go out to restaurants or see my friends anymore. If I do have to go out, I try to stay away from people as much as possible. I am feeling mostly just annoyance and irritation. Not at what we’re doing, being on lockdown is the right choice, but at how unprepared we were for something that we had months to prepare for. Proactive is better than reactive. If we’d done things sooner, we would have saved lives and been able to properly look at reopening much sooner. But on the bright side, I’m hoping that this is also a chance for some reform. Businesses and schools should finally start looking into stay-at-home and online work as a viable replacement for coming in. People who do still need to go into their jobs should have much more sanitary work conditions. I’m really just looking forward to the changes that come afterwards. I hope that the world pushes being more sanitary and giving more options to workers. In the Eastern world, it was already common to wear masks when you’re sick but it should be a common sight everywhere now. I hope businesses give their workers more options to stay at home and schools begin to offer more classes online. Now that the air is clearing and people around the world are appreciating nature more, I hope there is a push towards greener energy. As far as classes go, I feel pretty good about them being online actually. I learn better on my own and already prefer online over in person. My professors have been really good about keeping everything posted and being understanding. After quarantine is over, I’m excited to go to Tijuana Flats and get a burrito. If you do a pick-up or delivery, you only get two hot sauces and I’m going through a hot sauce phase. I need more than that and I can’t wait.
When the Coronavirus wasn’t in America I thought the Coronavirus was exotic and out of reach. When it came to Indiana I lost a sense of security. In general America is perceived normally and is typically exempt from outbreaks like this, but not this time. Personally, now I am more conscious of my environment. I practice social distancing and help implement sanitation practices more to other people. It has also reduced the need for me to constantly be out and in public. I’m not worried that we will get it but I understand it is a possibility we can get it and that no one is exempt. I don’t think we could’ve prepared ahead of time for the Coronavirus, not everything is always in our control. If we were able to control sickness we wouldn’t have sickness. The flu comes every year and we can’t really control it, all we can do is take precautions in maintaining it. Working from home for me is more difficult because going into the office prepares you to go in and actually work. When I’m at work i’m only doing work, when i’m at home I have to do home and work related things. I am less active than I am now because I work on a campus which requires me to constantly walk and now I walk from the living room to the kitchen. Now that I’m in quarantine I miss grooming things like facials and getting my eyebrows done. I also miss going to church and just being able to get up and go where I want to go when I want to go. One thing I’ve really taken for granted is fully stocked grocery stores. I’m used to being able to go in and get the right thing I want, now I have to just get what they have. When I get off quarantine I will be doing nothing in particular but thinking through and being cautious more.
Emily VanDeKeere, 2019 LN graduate
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the world, everyone has been struggling to adjust to the changes that have been forced upon them. This is no different for me, a student in my first year of college. However, my first year has already been pretty challenging. Originally at a college in Michigan, I had to transfer back home after dealing with insensitive roommates and an array of mental health issues. Now, at a much better suited college, my life has once again been turned upside down. Classes that were ill-prepared for online teaching now struggle to provide assignment information on time, often leaving myself and fellow classmates in the dark. It’s been difficult to adjust to a new routine in which my study space is only one floor below my bedroom. Focusing has become a grueling task at times as at home duties, such as taking my dog outside also become a necessary part of my day.
Most affected however, is my mental health. Since moving back home for good this semester, as all schools in my district closed due to COVID-19 concerns, I’ve lost the ability to visit friends and spend time walking around campus in between classes. It’s been a struggle sometimes to get out of bed, as the stress of my classes becomes unbearable. It’s been hard to adjust to this new routine that all must take place at home, since going out into public is considered dangerous due to the virus. I know that I’m not alone in these experiences of stress, depression, and anxiety. I know that now it is more important than ever to check in on each other and support one another as often as we can. We must stay united to conquer these unprecedented times.
So sometime at the beginning of February I received a test from my sister in law that included a link to a podcast regarding preparations to make in the case of a pandemic and she urged us to have a minimum of one month’s food supply on hand. My sister in law’s job is to develop emergency preparation plans for corporations and cities in the case of disasters. My brother is the head of the communications department for Fairfax, Virginia, which is just outside of Washington D.C. They had been aware of the dangers of this virus for over a month and had been advising various officials on how to prepare. Honestly my first thought was that they were being overly cautious. They deal with every worst case scenario so this causes them to be a bit more “germaphobe” than I am. Boy I could not have been more wrong. I have apologized several times for not taking their warnings more seriously when they were telling us information that had been widely known among the public. . There was a part of me that thought I would have extra time to hit the gym and get in better shape before the summer. Again, I look back on my thought process the first week, and think about how naive I was being. Once everything started shutting down and the quarantine started to set in, I fell into what I would best describe as a “funk”. My routine was off, worry over the spread of the virus messed with my sleep pattern, e-learning was challenging. For my friend’s 50th birthday we planned a trip last year to get a suite at the Kentucky Derby. We’ve been discussing for months where we would buy our dresses and hats. Now the Derby has been postponed but hopefully not cancelled. I’ve also been disappointed by people I see who are not taking it as seriously. I want this to end and it only will if everyone is willing to sacrifice for a bit. After about a week or so, I finally realized I needed to create a routine for myself. I’ve now started setting my alarm for a little earlier and doing a little meditation. I have made sure that I go for long walks every day and listen to podcasts that make me laugh. I’ve tried to make family time a little “extra”. I’ve made up fancy menus for dinner or plan special movie nights. This has helped bring a little more structure to my day.I am more emotional and frustrated than I would have imagined. I have friends that have lost people and I felt personal sadness with the loss of our beloved coach DeSalle. My cousin had to record his father’s funeral on facebook live because they could only let the immediate family attend. Hearing the stories of people dying alone just brings on profound sadness. As a history teacher, I do reflect on what will be the long term impact of the quarantine. I wonder how my students will explain this time to their children and grandchildren. I do hope that when we come out on the other side, families will be closer, people will rely less on technology and crave true connection and we remember what is truly important.
During this unprecedented time in our world, I have been tasked with birthing twin boys, working remotely as a 3rd grade teacher, selling my home in Indianapolis, and purchasing a home in central Kentucky. All of these life changes would be terrifying on their own, but during an international pandemic? Hello anxiety. This has been an extremely taxing seven weeks, and there is no end in sight.
The experience that was most affected due to COVID-19 was that of childbirth. Leading up to the birthdate of the boys, we had to lay out strict rules for our families. It felt unnatural to tell our parents what they had to do after almost three decades of the roles being reversed. We still have not allowed our grandparents over to meet their great-grandchildren because they have failed to follow the guidelines set by our government and Center for Disease Control. Our sisters and brothers-in-law have had to sacrifice time with their families so that they could visit us in the days following the boys’ birthday. Telling your grown family members how to live their lives is not pleasant.
As an expecting mom and dad, there are just some moments that you look forward to while patiently awaiting the birth of your child: older siblings and grandparents visiting them for the first time at the hospital, friends coming over to help after the birth, their first public outing, etc. For us, these things did not happen. Well, I guess they did, but nothing looked the way we anticipated. Family got to visit the hospital and wave vigorously from the road below with a sign that read, “Welcome Buchanan Twins!” Our toddler and parents met their newest family members via FaceTime and Zoom. The first public outing was a picnic in the parking lot of church instead of a physical worship service. No one could come over to our home except for our family members who strictly self-quarantined for at least a month prior to the birth. Friends have dropped off food and had conversations with us through our window screen. Nothing is as it was.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to be when you bring home new babies, yet here we are living this new normal. As isolating as this experience has been, it has also been an amazing reminder of the things that are truly important in our lives. The five of us are healthy, we have steady income, we still get to spend time with one another, and we are witnessing each moment with a fresh lens. While I would gladly press “fast-forward” to the post-Corona days, I am learning to embrace every second of this time with our newborn babies and our precious little girl.
Right now, it’s hitting very close to home. I know some people who have been ill and I know some people who have died of the coronavirus, so it’s definitely a big concern just to keep my own family safe and myself safe. Among this, I still try to lead a somewhat normal lifestyle and have the things we are used to having. When I have to do some grocery shopping, it looks very different right now and just trying to take care of myself and the people around me can be difficult. During this time, my family and church has kept me very positive. Just knowing that even though we aren’t going to church right now and churches are closed, we still have access to churches online and as a family we are still able to discuss matters of the church in our home is comforting. Exercise also helps to keep me positive. It’s nice to be able to get out and to become i’m glad that if this pandemic had to come that it came in spring so we can still get outside and enjoy nature while trying to make the best of things. Currently, I am looking forward to spending time with the people I love and the people I want to be with once this quarantine is lifted. Although, I’m very fortunate to be able to have my entire family under one roof at this point, but I look forward to seeing my extended family and enjoying their company and my friends. I also am looking forward to or having to cook every meal at home.
I always knew the coronavirus was coming here. Before the coronavirus hit America, I was concerned when I saw how it affected other countries. I felt like it was causing them devastation, so it could easily do the same thing to us in the USA. I always thought it was a big deal but wasn’t as worried until it actually came near us in Indiana. I felt like it was really hitting too close to home at that point. I felt like our government wasn’t prepared and took it lightly. I think we could’ve prepared for it sooner and have it better controlled so less people could’ve died. Being a dentist and not being able to go to work and not being able to work from home has it’s setbacks. Mentally, I feel much more relaxed while financially it had some few obstacles but thankfully it all worked out in the end. What i miss most about the whole situation is being able to leave the house, going to church, restaurants, and just all the places i would normally go. I really miss the face to face interaction. I realized how much I had really taken those things for granted. Even after quarantine and everyone lets their guard down with staying safe I will still have my guard up. What I plan to do when I get out of quarantine: I’m going to take a walk, smell the fresh air, and come back inside.
Madison Inman, 2018 LN grad
My life has obviously had some changes. I can say the same for most people , for example I miss going out, seeing my friends and going to the store and getting the stuff I need. But despite these new changes I am an essential worker, I care for two young girls. I expected the shutdown, since all of the numbers have been skyrocketing, I knew there was going to be some type of shutdown, but I personally think the shutdown should be stricter because people are still going out and not practicing social distancing.
With the new changes of having online school, I don’t really like it because all of my exams are open notes so I don’t really have the motivation to learn anything. I also wish that I could be face to face with my professors because that helps me learn better, and it is also hard because I can’t apply for nursing school because it is postponed so that has messed up my schedule for the next semester. I am excited to be able to do stuff with the girls that I nanny, go to the pool and the little things such as go get some ice cream.
I thought it was wise to implement a stay at home order considering that people were getting really sick. A lot of people would go out and do things and see people and ignore the health of others. It has been hard at times to stay indoors though, like not being able to shop like I usually do (up to five times a week sometimes) because I use that sometimes as my walking exercise. Along with, just having moved from a house with flower gardens and everything to a place where I don’t have any flowers planted yet and I don’t know all the people and everybody is supposed to stay in and take care of themselves. I do feel not alone, but separated from people. I try to use messaging, emails, phone calls to keep up with my friends and family. With that, what has helped me stay positive is having a pretty strong faith in God and I think that and our church has an online little sermonettes as well as sermons on Sunday and music. I feel fortunate that I have the health I do compared to my husband who has stage four cancer. I am here to help him. Some days I think, “what am I going to do today?” so I walk around our neighborhood because there are little streets. I might see a person or people, but we say hello from about 20 feet. I have to go get our mail so I do that. There have been times in my life that a lot of people had problems and I have always felt that I was blessed with good health and very few health problems. I think my faith shows me the positive side of each and everything. I honestly can’t wait to be able to travel and see my family, just to be able to visit face to face with people and be able to enjoy the beautiful spring and the coming summer.