I work for a federal agency and in my free time, I perform music in the D.C. metro area.
How has your life changed since the community has been impacted by Coronavirus?
Fortunately, I am still working. Psychologically it has taken a toll and my anxiety is through the roof. Reading the news constantly, seeing the toll this has taken on my fellow humans, and the continuous cycle of inaccurate news reporting has been difficult. I can’t imagine how life is for people on the frontlines. I am constantly thinking of them and can say this: we wouldn’t be here without all of you. You are important, you are valuable, you are appreciated.
Are you working more or less?
I am working more. Because I work in public health, I am constantly coordinating with my team on various projects and ongoing efforts to prevent and mitigate drug shortages in the U.S.
What are you most afraid of?
As a private citizen, I am afraid of the spread of misinformation and the downplaying of how serious this really is. I am afraid of willful ignorance. And mostly, I’m afraid of the number of lives that are continually being lost to this virus.
What are you most hopeful for?
I am hopeful when I see people unite to raise money, to spread cheer online in various ways (and in-person while maintaining proper social distancing if they must). I am hopeful that the younger generations will take this experience and use it to ensure that in the future, we are better prepared and united in the face of adversity and tragedy.
What has been the most challenging part of this experience for you?
For me, it’s reading articles citing the people who don’t believe in the severity of this virus, the validity of the science behind it, and the reasoning behind the necessity to stay home. I get a pain in my stomach when I see pictures of people protesting at capital buildings and people harassing healthcare professionals. It’s bewildering. It’s frightening. It needs to stop.
Is there anything – even a tiny thing – you enjoy or like about sheltering in place?
My wife and I bought and moved into our first house roughly 1-2 weeks before the shelter-in-place was issued. A bit of joy that I’ve had is unpacking, making our new house feel like a home, and working on developing a green thumb. It’s therapeutic for me. While I try to keep myself busy with tasks around the house and make the best out of this situation, I can’t help but wonder how other people are doing. I know that buying a house is a privilege (and a part of me harbors guilt over it), I do feel a sense of accomplishment after saving for the past decade for this. I am lucky and I understand that. Being home means I get to work and hang out with my wife non-stop, which has been surprisingly great (I mean that in a loving way I swear). We have leaned on each other a lot and tried to stay busy discovering new shows, new music, and figuring out what the future holds. We know that our home will always be a safe place for people and I am grateful to spend this quarantined time working on that.
What do you think society as a whole will learn from this experience?
Your vote matters more than you think, science does not lie, and lastly: you have an obligation to yourself, your family, and your community to research facts yourself. Relying on a single channel or news source isn’t going to cut it these days. You must do your due diligence and check multiple sources. Knowledge is power so be as powerful as possible.
How are you coping with stress/taking care of yourself?
I am trying my best to cope by taking an hour every day or so during the week to play guitar/piano and sing on Facebook live for a few songs. Music has always been very calming for me and a way to release all of my pent-up energy, emotions, stress, etc. I like to play songs I think people on my friends list will enjoy, things I enjoy playing, and making people forget, just for even a little bit, where they are and relax a bit. I hope it helps.
When future generations ask, what will you tell them about this time in your life?
To remember that all life is precious, every worker and person matters, and it’s important to understand that. We are remembered by what legacies we leave. I would like to leave future generations a world where they are prepared, cautious, curious, understanding, and where they can be hopeful. This is a scary time, most definitely. There has been so much noise and inconsistent messaging that we need to take precautions based upon guidelines from the scientists and healthcare workers. They are putting their lives on the line to do their jobs and deserve to be appreciated and heard.
What would you like your friends and neighbors in Silver Spring/Montgomery County to know?
Stay home, please. Haircuts and sports can wait. Your life cannot. We love Silver Spring/MoCo. It has been very good to us. Let’s all keep it that way.
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