Updated: Jun 13, 2021
I asked my followers about their experiences with the Coronavirus pandemic. Here's what they had to say.
What has Coronavirus and/or quarantine looked like where you live?
Started in Phoenix, AZ: was scary, but didn’t seem like a huge deal (one of the last states to close and the first to open- which has led to a recent surge in cases). We left and came back to DC when the state re-opened. The degree to which it was taken seriously here vs. in Phoenix where we had started was unnerving. However, in recent weeks, I see fewer and fewer masks and more and more crowds on bar patios here. It has me wondering if we’ll look like Phoenix soon too.
I live in Maryland. Our state has recently started reopening. We're in phase 2 or 3. The numbers have been declining but I fear they will go back up.
Lots of masks and things being closed.
DC - COVID hot spot, stay at home orders, masks required, etc. you’re familiar :)
At first it was incredibly difficult. I’m an extrovert and having to adapt to a more introverted lifestyle seemed almost impossible for me. I also don’t have a great relationship with my immediate family and it’s been about 5 years since I’ve stayed with them for longer than a couple of weeks. I entered a depressive and anxious state from mid march to end of May, with constant cycles of highs and lows. I’m from Long Island, NY so our restrictions have much more strict from the start, with the influences from NYC. My little siblings are at risk so even as things started opening up slowly, I haven’t really had an opportunity to be out and about.
It’s been implemented/ stay at home order was strict at first, and I’ve followed it.
I'm pretty sure my state was like most others. Many worked from home, people really only left for groceries or work (if they were essential). For school, we did online learning from March until the end of the school year. Our grades were pass/fail and weren't counted onto our GPA.
In DC, things are slowly re-opening, but bars and indoor restaurants are still closed. Thankfully, it seems like most people are taking mask and social distancing guidance seriously.
In Southern Maine, the streets were pretty desolate for awhile in the beginning, before other businesses started opening up again. Most people still wear masks in grocery stores and inside businesses, and in some places it's required. Events have been postponed/cancelled, but some outdoor farmers markets have started up again which is nice. Local farms did pretty well because a lot of people couldn't find what they needed at the supermarket, or were afraid of being close to other people and their germs. A lot of people just stayed home for the first couple months, but since we've started the "Phases" of reopening, there's been more traffic (nothing close to a normal summer) and people out and about on the beaches and trails, and a good number of tourists are visiting as well, which is good for the economy, but poses a bigger threat to spreading the virus. Maine was one of the last states hit by high case numbers, and our numbers are still pretty low compared to many other states, but as long as people/tourists keep coming in and moving around I feel like safety protocols and special requirements will stay similar for the rest of the summer and fall.
Everyone is wearing masks, but I have not seen a lot of social distancing since the beginning of the pandemic here. I have been seeing much larger gatherings and busier stores in recent weeks.
It was like a ghost town for a while. Now things are opening back up and it's too busy, and worrying.
I am in/driving through the city and during peak quarantine there was a notable difference. Nowhere near as many cars or people and a notable amount of friends and family working from home. Lately more people are stepping out, U and 18th street are quite packed on weekends. I try to stay home and/or visit friends about once a week or so just to stay sane because of how social I am but still not 100% comfortable with people in public and in tight spaces.
It's looking better. Almost seems like things are normal but plus the masks.
The first few weeks were eery as many people were hoarding basic necessities and the supply chain starting to shut down. There was so much uncertainty if people were going to be rationing food and other items. The supply chain did not stop so most items were starting to get back to normal within a few weeks.
Luckily, I can work from home and adjusted to work from home work style after a few weeks. I don't have kids or pets at this stage in my life, however, I do empathize for my colleagues and family friends who are balancing work from home and raising their family at the same time. I don't live/work in a hotspot area. I've seen most of my community members take necessary to higher precautions that the CDC/WHO recommends as do I.
How has Coronavirus impacted your community, family, friends?
I lost my grandmother during, but not related to COVID, and haven’t been able to see any family since. Missing the closure that would come from being with them & celebrating her life.
The biggest impact is that my wife got corona like symptoms a couple of weeks ago but she is starting to feel better. Thankfully neither I nor my kids have symptoms. My kids finished the school year through distance learning. It was a challenge. My wife and I had to motivate the kids to check Google Classroom each day and do their work. They liked the distance learning but I don't think they got the same level of education they would get get in a actual classroom.
I did see my mom, at a safe distance, in Mother's Day. It was a surprise for her. My family also had zoom calls with her and my sister in law's.
As for the pandemic itself, staying at home and not being able to go anywhere has affected our mental health. I wish it was over.
My wife and I have been able to continue working from home. That has provided a distraction.
One of my friends got sick so getting tested myself was fun (woo negative test results). And my dad showed symptoms at home back in like April and tested negative. Both my parents are at risk so that's made me pretty anxious. Neither one of them really want to go anywhere now which is understandable.
My mom is on a rolling furlough, I have multiple friends who have been furloughed or lost their jobs, others haven’t been impacted at all.
Many of my parents friends have contracted the diseases and family from Bangladesh, specifically my uncles have too. I also have a couple of friends who have since recovered but from their experiences, it hasn’t been easy at all.
I have spent more time online with my community for church, family and friends!
I know a lot of friends who were going crazy at home. I personally did not leave my house at all until June because I am at a higher risk than most. Even now, I can count on one hand how many building I've been in in the past 3 months. My grandma had to retire later than she expected and lost a lot of money because of the crash in the stock market. There are quite a few events that were cancelled or delayed because of corona, but it's better that way. Being alive >>>> going out
I think it's had a tremendous impact on my friends (who are mainly consultants or other white-collar workers) as we shift to work-from-home. It's a really strange feeling not going into the office every day, and I think it gets really lonely and isolated at times.
The first couple of weeks felt like I was living on another planet. No one was outside, the only time I saw a neighbor was if they were walking their dog, and even then they still stayed on the other side of the road and usually strayed away from a conversation. It's been weird not seeing my family (they're in MA), but I keep in touch with my parents and we had a few family game nights over Zoom which was fun and a new experience for all. It's been really hard not seeing friends and co-workers. You get used to talking with and seeing people that you see almost daily and then you get abruptly cut off, it felt like everyone went on vacation at the same time, people became more active on social media or just used the time for some self-reflection and personal space. I saved A TON of money on gas, which was great. I also ate really well too because I had the time to cook healthy meals and we didn't get takeout or anything for almost 3 months.
My best friend lost her grandmother to coronavirus. My family has been staying indoors a lot as I am immunocompromised.
Lots of people laid off. Worried about grandparents. Can't see terminal aunt. It's been really hard.
I feel a lot closer with certain people/groups while others kind of went to the back burner. It felt kind of inevitable at some point but as lockdowns lighten up maybe I will see them more often.
It hasn't impacted them too much. My mom took a couple weeks off from school but her school has been operating ever since.
I have family members (both immediate and extended) who work in health care. I also have lots of college friends all over different cities and towns hit hard while others aren't. I do worry for them all. I know one close friend who has gotten COVID-19 and recovered, which is a miracle considering they are high risk.
All of my family and most of my friends are taking the necessary precautions that the CDC/WHO recommends (wear a mask, washing hands, 6 feet apart, sanitizing, etc.) and sometimes stricter precautions (e.g. walking across the road while walking around the neighborhood if you see someone on your side of the sidewalk, staying 10 or more feet away from people).
Loss of jobs, depression and loneliness
What kind of activities/hobbies have kept you busy while social distancing?
All the virtual fitness, running (I wear a mask on crowded trails), and of course— sourdough.
Work mainly but I like to play games, read, or watch TV. I was trying to keep up with a photography photo project but with the pandemic it was becoming too difficult. I really want to get more involved with photography because I enjoy it.
At the start of the pandemic I was walking around my neighborhood which was about a mile. I stopped when it was getting too warm.
Reading and watching netflix. Been baking occasionally
I jokingly made the 9 circles of COVID19. I’ve been perfecting homemade pasta; was baking sourdough and then rage quit; really lots of baking; started a garden; working out, and trying perfect my at home film developing.
Zoom happy hours! Although, I’ll be honest, drinking in your PJs are waaaay too comfortable and I really felt those hangovers the next morning. I’ve also picked up embroidery, started mini book clubs with some kickass people, and had more time to write, reflect, join a mentorship group and start focusing on writing (a book!).
I enjoy spending more time outside and enjoying deeper conversations with family and friends.
I have been watching a lot of new movies and playing video games.
I've gotten really into 3D printing! I can print out various models and then paint them. I recently completed the Buster Sword from the video game Final Fantasy VII.
Hanging out with and playing with my dog and my roommate's new puppy. Cleaning up files and pictures on my laptop I didn't need anymore (deleted 7,000+ old pictures). Found clothes and items to sell/donate. Read books that I hadn't finished and meditated more often. Didn't work out much though...
Walking, reading, and cooking.
Becoming a permanent part of my couch.
Reading and working out a little more at home!
Reading and playing music.
Cooking, video games, walking, working out with at home equipment, and reading.
Mountain biking, backpacking and running
Have you enjoyed anything about staying at home? Please tell me about it and why.
More time to learn about the BLM movement and to have deep convos with friends about the social movement our country is experiencing.
I've mostly enjoyed staying at home. I've bonded with my kids more. I like that I get to work from home all the time.
I don't like that I can't go to a lot of places because they are closed especially some of my favorite photography spots.
lol there's definitely some drama im glad i missed out on so that's been nice.
The lack of commute and after work happy hours have allowed me to spend more time digging into recipes I’ve been meaning to make. Originally the idea was I would perfect recipes for meal prepping once I return to work, but now it has been fun exploring different foods I wouldn’t have made normally!
Although it was difficult at first, I really appreciate my siblings. My sister is 13 and brother is 11 (10/12 year difference) and we’ve always had a disconnect, figuratively because we were at different phases in our lives and literally because I went 7 hours away for college. The more I hang out with them, the more I love them! They’re young minds and when they catch me meditating or reading, they're inspired to follow suit and ask a ton of questions. It’s really been nice to mentor and teach them, even for a little bit. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if COVID didn’t happen.
I like creating new schedules weekly in my own space. Being on my own time allows me to enjoy TIME. Something I didn’t do before.
At the beginning of quarantine I was really lonely and sad, but right now I'm feeling the best I've felt in a long time. I don't have any worries and I've been feeling really confident, probably because I've been around the same people. I've liked being home with family, too.
I have! It is really nice to wake up later, and being able to dress casually while working. Also if work is slow I can roll my chair over and boot up the PlayStation :)
The silence is nice most of the time, unless I get really bored, but I never really ran out of things to do. Having time to cook and keeping things organized more easily, saving money on gas and not eating out. Knowing I was "safe" and helping to keep others safe was comforting.
I have been sleeping a healthy amount - before quarantine, I was feeling exhausted and burnt out from long days at the office and a lengthy commute.
More time with my cat has been nice, but that's about it.
I do like the aspect of working from home being an option at work. We got called back into the office and I do not feel the safest so I wear the mask all day but hopefully, as a company, they start allowing that more.
I love doing nothing. I've been feeling burnout so this has been a nice recovery period for me.
I've learned more recipes and cooking techniques throughout the quarantine process. I was never sure when I would go back to a restaurant once the early signs of the pandemic were starting so I figured investing time for foods and dishes I liked was necessary to bring comfort and happiness while staying healthy. I have also been spending less money since quarantine started. I used to buy lunch or dinner 2-3x a week, have transport costs (mostly local transport vs car), and social fun (e.g. going to a game/event with friends,) that simply do not happen anymore. My savings prior to the pandemic were good. I'm saving the additional savings I'm having from the above to put towards health/fitness equipment when they become available again. I liked the idea of a home gym before the pandemic as there is less friction for me to workout (compared to driving to a gym/waiting for people to finish their equipment) and can keep my equipment clean.
Yes, more time to hang and less time spent running around to obligations with friends.
Special thanks to:
@jessiemeh_, @kbarthphotos, @jessconnearney, @stephasauce, @senator_abraham, @deegeeragofskee, @Scoootttaaayyy, @Joss.press, @keeewii, @_emmamaephotography, @anikersss