April 27, 2020

Did you change your spring break plans because of the virus? From what to what?

Yes, I had to change my spring break plans.  I had plans to travel to New Orleans with my Husband and two Kids and visit with my Mother, Brother, his Wife, and my two Nieces.

How did you feel when you were informed the remainder of the semester would be held online?

I felt disbelief and panic.  I am a full-time  Wife, Mother of two(14 & 8), and student with 18 hrs.

Where will you be living while courses are held online? Is this a change from usual?

I will be home with my Husband, Daughter and Son.  This is not a change for me.

What has been your experience with moving classes online? What’s good? What’s not so good?

I have NOT enjoyed doing all of my coursework online.  I have ADHD and need the actual classroom and campus environment to focus and get my work done.  Being a Wife and Mother of two kids, being at home and trying to get all of my coursework done feels close to impossible with the quarantine and school closures.  I am now having to be at home with the inability to at least go to the library.  Before the coronavirus shut down, My time in class and on campus was MY time to get my coursework done without the distractions of my Husband, Children, and household responsibilities.  I knew that I had M-F, 8 – 2  that I would be on campus in class and/or in the library to work and meet with my professors or classmates as needed.  Being home online and managing my children’s online education as well, on top of my regular duties of home management(meal preparation, laundry, grocery shopping, etc) and have been more than I ever imagined.

Like a lot of moms, I have not had the luxury to solely focus on my kids’ online learning and home management.  I feel like the working Mom who has had to suddenly shift and juggle work, kids, husband and home, 24/7, live in living color, in your face, constantly.

How has the virus (and the precautions taken to prevent it spreading) impacted your daily life?

YES!!  My daily life blends into my nightlife.  There is no separation.  It is a constant, consistent 24 hr never-ending cycle.   Okay, that sounds bad and probably not exactly what you were asking.

Yes, the virus has impacted my daily life in the ways of wearing a mask whenever I go into a store. Prior to the virus outbreak, I was a pretty stringent hand washer and user of hand sanitizer.  I have always kept a package of Clorox wipes in my backpack and would wipe off the study table and chair handles in the library and my desk in class, especially during cold/flu season.  I was already in the habit of wiping off the grocery cart handles before shopping and using a paper towel or my foot to open public restrooms after washing my hands, to exit.

It has impacted my daily life in the way that I interact with my family.  We do lot more daily video calls with distant family members.  In the house, we spend 10 minutes together to set out intentions for the day and breathing.   — a lot of the days even the best intentions go awry.

How worried are you about getting the virus?

I am concerned because of the unknown and the mixed messages.

Do you know anyone who has gotten COVID-19?

Yes.  I have a family member in Louisiana who  suffered with COVID-19.  The crazy thing is that they will not test the rest of his family because they are not showing symptoms but they have all been together in the house before and since he has been sick.

Are you staying in? What are you doing to pass the time?

Yes, we are staying in, generally speaking.  We walk and ride bikes as a family and have supported local restaurants by ordering food for pick up.  My time is generally spent doing some type of schoolwork — mine or the kids.  On the weekends, we will just go for a drive for a couple of hours

Are you going out? Where do you go and what is it like?

We have gone out at as a family to walk and ride bikes.  We have ordered food and go to pick it up in support of local restaurants.  I have had to stand in line to get into the grocery store.  I have had to order groceries via Amazon for delivery and wait for 4 days to have them delivered.  Now that we are having to wear masks, I feel like people are less friendly.

What is giving you hope and/or strength right now?

My hope and faith are in God and in humanity.  My family is encouraging.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about what you’re feeling or experiencing right now?

It is a time of constant questioning.  I run the full range of emotions on a daily basis.  I am grateful that I am in a position of relative comfort as for our finances, food security, and home environment is concerned.  I am disappointed in the way the federal government has handled this and all of the misinformation that comes directly from the white house.  I am deeply saddened by the health and wealth disparities in minority communities and the effects that are having.  I am frustrated with the lack of testing.