Charlene Goins Oral History, 2020/07/21


Title (Dublin Core)

Charlene Goins Oral History, 2020/07/21

Description (Dublin Core)

This is an interview I conducted with a military spouse about her experience during this time. Many military families have noticed a difference in the personal experiences and what the "official" military stance is.

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Type (Dublin Core)

voice recording

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

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Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Alexis Walker

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Charlene Goins

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Newport News
United States of America

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Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Alexis Walker 0:00
Okay, so can you state your name and the time and the date?

Charlene Goins 0:07
My name is Charlene Goins. It is 8:29pm on July 21 2020.

Alexis Walker 0:15
Okay, and where do you currently live?

Charlene Goins 0:19
Newport News, Virginia.

Alexis Walker 0:21
And what is your profession?

Charlene Goins 0:27
I'm a stay at home mom.

Alexis Walker 0:30
Are you currently married? And if so, what is your spouse's profession?

Charlene Goins 0:34
Yes, he is an active duty soldier in the US Army.

Alexis Walker 0:38
And who is your household composed of?

Charlene Goins 0:41
Myself, my husband and my five month old daughter

Alexis Walker 0:46
And your dogs.

Charlene Goins 0:47
And two dogs.

Alexis Walker 0:49
When did you first become aware of COVID-19?

Charlene Goins 0:54
The beginning of March 2019- or '20 2020.

Alexis Walker 1:00
Okay, and what were your initial thoughts about it?

Charlene Goins 1:07
Honestly, I didn't really think it was that big of a deal. I thought it was nerve racking because it was a new disease we didn't know. But I didn't think it would last as long as as.

Alexis Walker 1:22
Okay, and have your thoughts or feelings changed since then?

Charlene Goins 1:24
Yes. I think it's definitely something that we should be taking more seriously and abiding more precautions in place. But unfortunately, that does not seem to be happening.

Alexis Walker 1:39
Okay. Has the Coronavirus affected your day to day activities? And if so, can you describe how?

Charlene Goins 1:47
Yes. So we definitely spend more time indoors and at home than we were before. I'm really cautious about where I go, because I have a five month old was born just the beginning of 2020. We don't really go to the park or go on walks or anything because you never know who's going to be around and who sick with what.

Alexis Walker 2:15
Okay, then we're gonna move on to how being associated with the military has affected you. How has your association with the military affected your view on the Coronavirus?

Charlene Goins 2:29
I don't really think it's affected too much what I think other than the fact that the military seems to be the last one to respond to actually taking it serious.

Alexis Walker 2:41
Okay. then. And how did your base institute policy changes due the Coronavirus?

Charlene Goins 2:47
So our base went on a Bravo lockdown and then a Charlie lockdown. So before it had more laxed openings and let visitors still come and then all of a sudden stop, no visitors. You had to have a DOD [Department of Defense] card. And then you were only allowed to shop certain days of the week at the commissary, the PX [Post Exchange]. And you had different time constraints and way more checkpoints throughout base.

Alexis Walker 3:11
And you were in Colorado Springs at this time. Right?

Charlene Goins 3:14

Alexis Walker 3:15
Okay, how quickly did your base institute these changes?

Charlene Goins 3:21
Oh, I probably took like a month before they actually did anything.

Alexis Walker 3:26
Okay, um, how do you think the military has handled the current Coronavirus situation?

Charlene Goins 3:32
Not that well. It's been a lot of people and hardships because of the middle of PCS [Permanent Change of Station] season this summer. So people have spent months either in hotels or completely without any of their home goods. And you can't get an answer until about two weeks before you're supposed to leave. They're like, "oh, okay, you're gonna go again. We're not holding you up anymore." So a lot of families are displaced, and a lot of people are getting into serious debt.

Alexis Walker 3:59
Okay, and how has your family been affected by the military regulations during the pandemic specifically?

Charlene Goins 4:05
We originally thought because of the pandemic, we would not be doing a cross country move. And then we were given less than 30 day notice that we would be moving then it took exceptional measures in order to secure housing and to be able to safely move across country with a baby and two dogs and limited resources or help from the military.

Alexis Walker 4:29
Okay. How do you experience- Have you experienced the difference between your personal feelings and the military regulate- regulations for the Coronavirus? What the military saying to do versus how you personally feel you should act?

Charlene Goins 4:40
Yes. We noticed at first the military was not considering family factors an individual situations for who would be at risk. Thankfully, my husband's specific unit went further into action and made sure that men with- and women, who are serving, that had brand new children at home, or pregnant spouses, they were not going to work in being exposed. But we definitely didn't feel like they were taking enough account to protecting everybody that was working. They still held like a group Easter dinner, and come to find out seven people who were tested positive from being at that party. And my husband included was there.

Alexis Walker 5:26
Okay, last question. How do you think your military association has changed how you've experienced the pandemic?

Charlene Goins 5:33
I think that because my husband's been serving in the military. We are not as concerned about continuing to pay our bills, thankfully, because he will still get his paycheck. But we are at a difference as far as I feel like we're the last people that they consider of how this is affecting, and we're just kind of thrown through the loop no matter what, and we're just told to suck it up.

Alexis Walker 5:56
Okay, Okay, then. Well, thank you for your time.

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This item was submitted on July 28, 2020 by Alexis Walker using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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