Elizabeth Sconyers Oral History 2020/10/09


Title (Dublin Core)

Elizabeth Sconyers Oral History 2020/10/09

Description (Dublin Core)

This oral history was conducted for the HST580 Archive course through Arizona State University. The interviewee discusses her life and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The oral history explores the COVID-19 virus and its relation to themes such as, lived experiences, family life, employment, the economy, government, and community.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Collection (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Angelica Gallegos

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Elizabeth Sconyers

Location (Omeka Classic)


Format (Dublin Core)


Language (Dublin Core)


Duration (Omeka Classic)


Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Interviewee: Elizabeth Sconyers
Interviewer: Angelica Gallegos
Date: 10/09/2020
Location of Interviewee: Jacksonville, Florida
Location of Interviewer: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Transcriber: Angelica Gallegos


This oral history was conducted for the HST580 Archive course through Arizona State University. The interviewee discusses her life and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The oral history explores the COVID-19 virus and its relation to themes such as, lived experiences, family life, employment, the economy, government, and community.

AG: My name is Angelica Gallegos, and I am doing an oral history for the Archive 580 class at ASU

AG: Can you tell me what the date and time is?

ES: All right, the date is October 9, 2020 and the time is for me to 2:37 PM

AG: What is your name and what are the primary things you do on a day to day basis. For example, your job and activities?

ES: All right, my name is Elizabeth Sconyers and on a day to day basis. I mostly do school and then in the evenings, I might write or play a game or something like that.

AG: Where do you live, and what is it like to live there?

ES: So. I live in Jacksonville, Florida. And right now, its I guess kind of normal, I would say as normal as it can be. We still have to wear masks into public areas, but outside we don't have to wear masks and there's really not a quarantine going on right now. They're starting to kind of wind down the testing because there's not very many, many cases anymore. So that's kind of what where we're at right now.

AG: When you first learned about COVID-19? What were your thoughts about it and have your thoughts changed since then?

ES: Well, I think a lot of us thought that it was going to last for like a month or two, and obviously, that's not what happened. I think more than anything, it's starting to get a little old you know everything being shut down and not being able to go certain places but still it's some of its necessary to keep older people from getting sick and that's fine.

AG: What issues have most concerned you about the COVID-19 pandemic?

ES: I guess, well, whenever it first started my grandfather was- he had- he was in a high-risk population. He had respiratory illness, but he passed on early August, so that's no longer - it was unrelated issues, but so right now I guess there's not a huge concern because there's no one who is in the family was high risk.

AG: How has COVID-19 affected your job? In what ways?

ES: Oh, definitely. So, I was a tutor and was for like a year and a half before starting the Master's program, and so about, I would say about March, late March, early April, I can't remember exactly. We started you know shutting down and working from home through Zoom because before we were at an actual office situation. So, we did like work through zoom for, like, a few months and it was actually whenever we came back, and we had been there for three weeks that one Friday I- right before work. I almost failed my temperature test and then started getting sicker and that was like, oh boy, I guess I need to go get tested. I didn't have it though, but I still requested to go back to working online remotely.

AG: Has COVID-19 changed your employment status? In what ways?

ES: Um, I mean employed versus unemployed. no, I wasn't unemployed during COVID-19 except for whenever I turned in my resignation.

AG: What concerns do you have about the effects of COVID-19 on your employment and the economy.

ES: Well, I have to say a lot, - let's, focus on the economy one since I'm not no longer employed technically, so um, I know a lot of my family members work in like, movie theaters and like the hospitals, and so there's a pretty big concern there. Especially with the movie theaters, because they haven't been open in so long, and now, hoping big blockbuster movies that are supposed to be hitting this fall, and December are getting pushed back into next summer, so there's a huge concern about that. Mostly I think the economy did really suffer whenever we did shut down and but I'm not sure if that was avoidable, to be honest, because you kind of need to try and stop it, but - So a lot of it is just the way it is.

AG: How has COVID-19 affected you and/or your family’s day to day activities?

ES: To be fair, I've always been a bit of a home body, so I think the big thing is, was no longer going into work each day, but to be honest that wasn't a huge deal to me. I would rather do work from home, then the office, to be honest. The same for my dad he used to go into the office every day. Now he's got to work from home, and he prefers it that way as well.

AG: How are you managing day to day activities in your household?

ES: I mean, I guess the same as always, there's not much change that has happened other than just being at home all the time. Grocery shopping, I mean you just wear a mask whenever you grocery shop. So that's about it.

AG: Has the COVID-19 outbreak affected how you associate or communicate with friends and family? In what ways?

ES: Well, I think- about a couple months, and I remember because we hadn't seen anyone and like two months and so like one Saturday we drove by my cousin's house because we were just completely going out of our mind with not having any contact with anyone and so we just like parked in front, of their front driveway, roll down the windows and like six feet apart. We were talking to each other through all that. I think that's the big thing that kind of crosses my mind when I think of changes in communication.

AG: What has been the biggest challenges that you have faced during the COVID-19 outbreak.?

ES: I guess fear that I was going to get sick, to be honest. There are like two times where I thought that I might have had it. Like only the second time I was able to go get tested the first time the testing wasn't even open for people who weren't at high risk. It was like mid-March so I still don’t know if I had it or not to be honest.

AG: What have you, your family, and friends done for recreation during COVID-19?

ES: A lot of TV. Lots and lots of TV streaming YouTube, that sort of thing.

AG: How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected your community (Remember, you may be part of many communities including school, club, church, job, etc. You are welcome to speak about all of these communities)?

ES: Well, I mean, I go to church like semi regularly. I guess you would say, and but I haven't been to service since like March because it's like completely shut down until recently, and now they're only doing it and like small groups. That you have to actually register online for and then you get put into a group where like group one goes one Sunday, group two this next Sunday, group three goess, the next Sunday. And then it starts all over again, but I have not been since like beginning of March, to be honest.

AG: How are people around you responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

ES: Hmm, I would say most of them are just kind of frustrated and ready to be done with it, I don't, I think, with the exception of a few people, most of them don't take it very serious.

AG: Have you seen the people around you change their opinion, day to day activities or relationships in response to the pandemic?

ES: Yes, and no. I would say at the beginning we were pretty, pretty good about, you know, not having any contact with anyone, and just not going anywhere. I think as it's gone on that's kind of not been the case. A lot of people I know just, you know, go everywhere. They - If they can get away with it and the businesses don't notice it. They won't wear a mask. [phone rings] and I'm sorry about that. Just give me one second.

AG: Self isolation and flattening the curve have been two key ideas that have emerged during the pandemic. How have you, your family, friends, and community responded to request to self-isolate and flatten the curve?

ES: I feel like - again, that was mostly done more in the first couple of months and then it kind of people stopped doing that kind of round here and I still try to not go anywhere. And whenever I do. I'm always wearing my mask. But a lot of people I know are kind of getting tired of that.

AG: Have you or anybody you know gotten sick during the COVID-19 outbreak? What has been your experience in responding to the sickness.?

ES: Hmm. Well, aside from my getting sick, my cousin and his fiancé both had the virus, and I think a lot of my cousins have talked about how you know in early March they had some sort of severe sickness that was similar. But again, there wasn't any testing available until like April around here for people who hadn't been, you know, out of the country or weren't in a high-risk group.

AG: In what ways do you think the COVID-19 is affecting people's mental and or physical health?

ES: Well, I know I gained a little bit of weight because I eat way too much ice cream now. Um, I think mental health - I can see where if your, you know, being in self-isolation all by yourself. That would be really tough situation. Um, thankfully. I'm not in that situation, and I have family who's with me right now. Um, other than eating way too much ice cream and that I mean I've never been one big on exercise. So that really hasn’t changed much.

AG: What have been your primary sources of news during the pandemic?

ES: I'd say just mostly local news. To be honest, the news kind of stresses me out and I try not to look at it too much. Sometimes my mom will tell me stuff, but other than that, it's just mostly looking at the local news.

AG: Have your or news sources changed during the course of the pandemic?

ES: No. The news, it's just been stressing me out since for a couple of years now. So.

AG: What do you think are important issues that the media may or is not covering?

ES: Well, I can't say I can answer that very well to be honest?

AG: How have leaders and government officials in your community responded to the outbreak?

ES: Well, I kind of live between two counties and like St. Johns county where St. Augustine is they've already suspended the masks and to be fair, there really hasn't been any very many new cases in quite some time. So, they've already suspended that but Jacksonville still has a mask mandate. I think will for another couple of weeks at least.

AG: Do you have any thoughts on how local, state, or federal leaders are responding to the crisis differently?

ES: Hmm. Well, I do think that it's good that it's mostly left up to the local governments because they have more of an idea and more of a taste of what it's like in their actual communities. I feel like that's one thing that has, that should be the case. I mean, if they have like a federal shut down over everything, to be honest, there's places in Oklahoma and others where there haven't ever been a case. So really should those be shut down because a place like Florida can't keep it under control?

AG: Has your experience transform how you think about your family, friends and community? In what ways?

ES: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think, before I took a lot of this for granted that you could just go out and do anything and it'd be okay. So I think to a huge extent that's taught me to not take everything for granted that you know you'll always be able to go see your family or your friends or go to the movie theaters, or go to the park.

AG: How does this pandemic compared to other big events that have happened in your lifetime?

ES: I mean, to be honest, I don't think it's the most, the most dramatic life change. I think that was whenever the markets crashed in 2012 because, well to, to be able to stay employed we had to move over to Texas for my high school years. So that was like, I would say even bigger culture shock because even with this pandemic you can still drive maybe thirty minutes and talk to family like over a driveway or something like that. But moving to Texas you couldn't do that. There wasn't really like Zoom calls back then or FaceTime, very much, so you had to drive like I guess it was eighteen hours before you can get back here to Florida. I think was a lot bigger, a lot, a lot bigger deal than this.

AG: What can you imagine your life being like in a year?

ES: I assume I'm still gonna be kind to school and probably still stressing out about that. Um, I would definitely hope we're not still dealing with this virus next October. Um, I don't, I would imagine that it would be done by then, to be honest.

AG: What do you hope your life is like in a year?

ES: Well, I would hope that I'm not in quarantine in a year. I'd like to maybe go somewhere on vacation next year.

AG: Knowing what you know now, what do you think that individuals, communities or governments need to keep in mind for the future?

ES: Yes, just follow the rules you know. If your governments’ telling you to quarantine for two weeks, then just go ahead and do it. You know cuz I have a feeling if everyone had just done that and not gone out and been without masks I feel like this would have been over a lot quicker but it's the people who were maybe a little sick or maybe didn't have any, or asymptomatic and then went out and gave it to other people that this kept spreading. So, just follow the laws, I guess.

AG: Thank you. That was your last question.

ES: All right.

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