I am the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of the Association of Academic Health Centers.
How has your life changed since the community has been impacted by Coronavirus?
I started working from home on March 13. I only go out to take walks and occasionally shopping and picking up food. I've been to the grocery store twice, the pizza shop twice, and the liquor store twice. I went to the bird seed store, but didn't get out of my car. I haven't seen my friends and family for over a month, except for one time when my daughter came to bring me oatmeal because I couldn't get it at the store. I'm getting to know my neighbors and their children and dogs.
Are you working more or less?
About the same. Working from home isn't as easy because I don't have the proper tools, so things take longer. Getting responses and feedback from coworkers also takes longer because we aren't together in the office.
What are you most afraid of?
Myself or someone I know getting sick because people aren't taking self-isolation seriously enough.
What are you most hopeful for?
Treatment, testing, and vaccines being developed quickly.
What has been the most challenging part of this experience for you?
Staying motivated. I keep busy, but I'm sitting a lot, not getting enough exercise, and not eating very well. Sometimes a whole day goes by, and I think "What did I do today?"
Is there anything – even a tiny thing – you enjoy or like about sheltering in place?
I love working from home. I don't miss going into the office at all. I love not having a one hour commute twice a day. It will be hard to go back.
What do you think society as a whole will learn from this experience?
Probably nothing unfortunately. Our country's leadership doesn't lead well, isn't honest, and doesn't care about regular people. But many people in our country trust and admire our president. That tells me that no one is learning anything from this experience.
How are you coping with stress/taking care of yourself?
Keeping busy with crafts, cooking, and new projects like learning to play the guitar. Sleeping is difficult sometimes, I have dreams about the virus, and sometimes I get very anxious. But most of the time I feel ok.
When future generations ask, what will you tell them about this time in your life?
That despite the difficulties, my friends and family worked hard to protect themselves and others. I've never experienced anything like this, and I feel lucky that I have my job and continue to get paid, but many people are not lucky and are suffering, either from the virus or from economic consequences.
What would you like your friends and neighbors in Silver Spring/Montgomery County to know?
Everyone in my neighborhood is doing well with social distancing, and I want them to keep it up! I appreciate the neighborhood rallying together with activities such as the bear hunt, and the chalk drawings.