Explore the Archives
A Journal of the Plague Year Arizona Collection Australia Boston Bronx Community College New York Brooklyn College New York Canada Las Americas New Orleans Oral Histories Philippines Teaching the Pandemic

Collected Item: “Keep Trucking Along”

Give your story a title.

Keep Trucking Along

What sort of object is this: text story, photograph, video, audio interview, screenshot, drawing, meme, etc.?

photograph

Tell us a story; share your experience. Describe what the object or story you've uploaded says about the pandemic, and/or why what you've submitted is important to you.

In the beginning of the year 2020 no one knew just how historical this year was going to be. As a high school senior, senoritis was really kicking in and graduation was in sight. One day, in my global studies class, on the news, we heard of this crazy virus going around in China. I remember thinking, “Oh, it’s fine. It won’t affect me in anyway.” Little did I know there was a whole storm of challenges, obstacles, and battles coming my way.
At first, I thought I was just getting a nice two-week break from school and we would be back, and everything would be fine. That two weeks has tuned into over 150 days of lockdown and a completely changed way of life.
Every single person all over the world was affected someway by this virus, which is crazy to think about. Nearly everyone struggled with mental health and life changes throughout this time. I did as well, and although my mental health was at its utmost low during the Covid-19 pandemic, and is still recovering as the virus is still taking its toll with a new strand and heightened cases, I want to bring attention to an even bigger struggle I dealt with during this unpredictable, utterly horrible time period: the loss of my best friend.
On October 26, 2020 my grandmother passed away at the glorious age of 90. My grandmother had health issues for the past five or so years of her life, but her state started to rapidly decline in August of 2020. At this same time, I was preparing to leave for my first semester as a student-athlete at Duquesne University. Leaving my family, my friends, my hometown, and my significant other was already so difficult but adding on the fact that leaving and knowing that it would take away my last moments with my grandmother was a pain I never thought was possible.
I chose to still go and start off the semester since my grandma was moving around hospitals and I could still call her and see her on weekends if I wanted to go home and do so, and it was what she wanted me to do. I talked to her right before leaving for school. With the pandemic, she was only allowed two visitors everyday between the times of 2 and 5pm. So, with the majority of our family living around the hospitals, we had to all schedule times each day so everyone could get a chance to talk to her because of the one visitor limit in the hospital rooms. And I will never forget talking to my grandmother through my face mask about college and hearing how excited and proud she was for me to be where I am in my life today. Only a few days after that conversation, my family and grandmother made the decision for her to go into a hospice facility.
This hospice facility was far more strict than the hospitals. My grandmother was allowed no visitors in her room. The only way we could talk to her was over the phone. We are extremely lucky that she was given a room with a window. My family would go and stand at her window so we could see her and more importantly so that she could see us while we talked on the phone with her. I came home for a weekend or two to talk with her through her window and got to see her in her chair with her favorite blanket smiling at all the accomplishments and stories I wanted to share with her.
Once her health was at its lowest and her long, well deserved time here was nearing an end, me and my two siblings got to go into her room and say our goodbyes.
The next morning my mother got a phone call that my grandmother had passed away.
Losing someone, especially someone so close like my grandmother was to me, is the hardest thing in life. But with a global pandemic on top of it … the difficulty and feelings of it all cannot be explained.
In the end, I know my grandmother would want us to keep living our lives and “keep trucking along” as she used to say. So that is what we did. Knowing now that she is at peace, out of pain and that she does not have to deal with this crazy world situation in her unstable health condition anymore, gives me and my family closure and security during this time of uncertainty and fear. And I will always know she is right beside me, pandemic or not, watching over me and cheering me on each and every day.

Use one-word hashtags (separated by commas) to describe your story. For example: Where did it originate? How does this object make you feel? How does this object relate to the pandemic?

#DUQstories #StayStrong

Who originally created this object? (If you created this object, such as photo, then your name goes here.)

Olivia Alessi

Give this story a date.

2020-10
Click here to view the corresponding item.