Lauren Pease, Oral History, July 25, 2021


Title (Dublin Core)

Lauren Pease, Oral History, July 25, 2021

Description (Dublin Core)

Ashley Tibollo interviewed stay-at-home mom, Lauren Pease about her experience with the Covid-19 pandemic. In this interview, they discuss her experience with the lockdown, her worries about the pandemic, and what life was like during lockdown with her foster child. This interview also touches on political protests, virtual learning and her husband's transition to working from home.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)


Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Collection (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Date Created (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Ashley Tibollo

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Lauren Pease

Location (Omeka Classic)

New York
United States of America

Interviewee Gender (Friend of a Friend)


Interviewee Age (Friend of a Friend)

35 to 44

Interviewee Race/Ethnicity (Friend of a Friend)


Format (Dublin Core)


Language (Dublin Core)


Duration (Omeka Classic)


Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Ashley Tibollo 0:00:00
Okay, we are recording. My name is Ashley Tibollo. It is July 25 2021. It is 2:05pm. We are at a mutual friend's house in Williamsville. And I'm here with Lauren Pease. Lauren, please remember that any answers that you give will be included in a publicly accessible database. Is that okay with you?

Lauren P 0:00:31
That is perfectly fine.

Ashley Tibollo 0:00:33
Okay, so Lauren, could you state your name and say what the primary things you do on a day to day basis are?

Lauren P 0:00:42
My name is Lauren Pease, I live in Williamsville. And on a day to day basis, I am a stay at home mom. I have a six year old daughter and a one year old foster daughter. So...

Ashley Tibollo 0:01:01
Yeah, that's good. And when you first learned about COVID-19, what were your thoughts about it?

Lauren P 0:01:11 [Children laughing] My thoughts were our lives going to change. Specifically, I was worried about my husband's job, because I'm a stay at home mom. So everything. The reason we moved here was because of my husband's job. And I was worried about finances.

Ashley Tibollo 0:01:35
Hey, sorry, we just had to pause the interview because of our screaming children. So you were worried about your husband's job?

Lauren P 0:01:43
Yes. And you were saying because you moved here corporate? Correct. So just specifically, I was worried about his job. And like, if we happen to lose it, you know, your mind just kind of goes to the worst case scenario. So I was worried like, are they going to remove our foster daughte If he loses his job? How are we going to make ends meet? And they were talking about all of the products flying off the shelves at the stores? And that made it all very real. Because for a while it didn't seem real until they started closing the schools, I feel like

Ashley Tibollo 0:02:25
and was his job affected at all by the pandemic?

Lauren P 0:02:30
Yes, he, he started working from home. And I guess like, like a lot of jobs, it seems like they just they tried to do the best they could working from home. But there was a lot of downtime, and people didn't know what they needed. He works as a video editor. So he works at a post production house. And so things just kind of were at a standstill for a while. And that was very unsettling. Too much time to think.

Ashley Tibollo 0:02:59
What were your thoughts on the economy in general, during the pandemic?

Lauren P 0:03:04
My thoughts on the economy? I don't think I started thinking about it until like broadly until later. But just supply and demand was a little concerning. Do we have enough toilet paper?

Ashley Tibollo 0:03:22
That was a very real concern.

Lauren P 0:03:25
But I think we were fine. But yeah, I don't think we really, like once I knew that his job was secure, we started getting a little more comfortable. So we knew that like our foster daughter was going to stay and we will be able to afford our mortgage payments. And he was able to stay on full time, which not everyone in his office was able to do, which was a relief for me. And I stayed home. And I was thinking I might have to go back to work. But I didn't have to just to make ends meet. But we were fine. And so I stayed home and focused on Robin's education and taking care of the little one.

Ashley Tibollo 0:04:13
So other than toilet paper and employment what what issues have most concern you about the covid 19 pandemic,

Lauren P 0:04:23
I tend to worry about other people, especially our foster daughter's family and her community. Think of specifics. I feel like we're so while we're not quite out of the woods, but now. It feels like we are sometimes what was the question again?

Ashley Tibollo 0:04:45
What were your other Did you have other major concerns during the pandemic

Lauren P 0:04:50
socialization for the kiddos, especially my daughter being school aged and not being in school, we were lucky enough to have good friends that had this perspective is us as far as being safe and masking. So that was to our advantage, we were able to get her socialized that way. But that was the main concern. I think we were pretty fortunate and privileged in our position.

Ashley Tibollo 0:05:20
Did you know anyone who contracted COVID?

Lauren P 0:05:27
Yes, but not like in our immediate circle. I think we're also very privileged in the fact that we're in the suburbs, and we had the space and the resources to stay safe. You know, we weren't on top of each other in our housing, we weren't sharing our housing with people that we didn't need to. But like just our neighbor across the street passed away from it. And then her neighbor behind us passed away from it. And... Our friend's mother who's living in Florida at the time passed away from it as well.

Ashley Tibollo 0:06:08
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. You're in a bit of a unique situation, having a foster child at home during the pandemic was your day to day routine, with her affected by the pandemic at all.

Lauren P 0:06:30
It sure was. [Phone vibrating] So like we she has scheduled for where she's picked up our caseworker. And so during the height of the pandemic, when not really there might have been the height in New York City. But when things were very unknown, they switched and had video calls with her parents. And so her mother was very good about it. But her dad was not interested only wanted to see her in person. [Phone vibrating] That was a big change for us. We had to like, you know, instead of just passing her off to be picked up, I had to facilitate our long video calls, which was fine. We were happy to do it, I'm able to. But also it just like up to our awareness of risk factors in the community that we had to expose ourselves to once things started opening up again towards the end of the summer.

Ashley Tibollo 0:07:36
And outside of that, how, how did you manage your day to day activities? At home

Lauren P 0:07:44
day to day?

Ashley Tibollo 0:07:46
Sorry, there's we had another interruption from the kiddos. Let me say that again, what did you do on a day to day during quarantine,

Lauren P 0:07:57 during quarantine at the initial quarantine? I don't think we were masks. At that point. You're talking about the beginning. Are you just talking about in general?

Ashley Tibollo 0:08:07
like once you are sheltering in place

Lauren P 0:08:11
oh sheltering in place, we had just a lot of quality family time. It was like early spring. So you know, evansburg was kind of quiet. And Robin wasn't doing much schoolwork at the time. So it was a lot of scrolling and seeing what other people were doing. [Children shouting] Other people were okay, probably watching too much news. But then also, we had a lot of family meals together. And kind of just reflecting and spending family time.

Ashley Tibollo 0:08:45
That sounds nice.

Lauren P 0:08:46
Yeah, it was actually really nice.

Ashley Tibollo 0:08:49
So you mentioned that Robin did not have a lot of work to do. What was your experience with online learning or presumably online learning during the pandemic?

Lauren P 0:09:03
Um, so the way that that she was in kindergarten, she she wasn't you know, when it first started, she was in kindergarten. Yeah, like crazy. So, I don't know it. I mean, because she was in kindergarten, I did not place a lot of emphasis on like, making sure that she got her work done. Like I wanted to make sure that she was like socially and emotionally okay. And I knew that she'd be able to catch up otherwise. But it was a lot of just like assignments. And then when they started getting their act together because everyone was in this like COVID haze of like, Oh my god, what's going on? Then they would meet for an hour a week and just kind of have social circle time. For kindergarten, and then during for first grade she had she stayed home for all With the school year kindergarten,

Ashley Tibollo 0:010:03
so did Robin like that socialization online?

Lauren P 0:010:08
she did I think she was kind of indifferent to it because we were at the very end of the school year anyway. So it was like we were just kind of doing what they could. And like I said he had some close friends that had the same outlook so that things easier. But I think it was nice that she got to see her teacher. And then they did a parade, which was really nice. I think they did that twice, where all the teachers would come around to the neighborhood to see the kids and their cars. And that is like unexpectedly made me cry. I was like, getting teary and emotional.

Ashley Tibollo 0:10:43
Yeah, they did that in our neighborhood as well. It was sweet. And you said she did the whole this whole last year, first grade, online as well. How was that any different?

Lauren P 0:10:59
Yeah, so the expectation like I think the teachers kind of had their act together and had more time to prepare. So you could remember how they did it for them as well, you could I think everyone started at home. And then you could choose to go back

Ashley Tibollo 0:11:20
to your their hybrid schedule, and you could go hybrid, or you could stay for remote.

Lauren P 0:11:27
Yes. So anyway, we chose to, because I'm home, we chose to stay home with her. And her teacher did a really good job. So she had all remote students. And she did a really good job of scheduling the day, I think they had about two and a half to three hours of face to face learning with the teacher and the teacher's assistant. And they broke out into small groups. And I was very impressed with the level of instruction that she was able to receive, they use a program called seesaw. And then they use zoom to to facilitate the learning. And she had a great year, a lot of growth.

Ashley Tibollo 0:12:09
Oh, that's great to hear. Some people had a mixed bag of experiences. I think

Lauren P 0:12:15
that's true. Definitely difficult

Ashley Tibollo 0:12:19
What were your primary sources of news during the pandemic?

Lauren P 0:12:24
NPR is in my house pretty much all the time. So radio is where I get most of my news, and then also just from new sources online. And then every once in a while, I would turn on the local news just to see what's going on locally. Primarily, and yeah.

Ashley Tibollo 0:12:48
And do you think they did a good job with covering the pandemic? Did you feel like there was anything they weren't covering?

Lauren P 0:12:56
No, I feel like they did a really good job for a long time they were covering the Cuomo conferences, you would have like an COVID conference like every day, at like noon or 11, and then they would feature the health person. I don't remember who it was. But yeah, they would break into those news conferences for a long time until things started kind of being a lot of the same every day. I feel like they did a good job.

Ashley Tibollo 0:13:26
I also used NPR. And I agree with you there. Since you mentioned New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, how did you feel about how he handled things or how things were handled at a local or federal level?

Lauren P 0:13:46
I feel like he was extra cautious, but I agree with generally how he conducted things, I think just the flow of information was very reassuring, because there was so much uncertainty, that just having that consistent voice of reason and he always kind of comes off as a very calm, reassuring tone. Like I, I appreciated that. And then also, anything coming from Fouchi was fantastic. I felt That's the question?

Ashley Tibollo 0:14:23

Lauren P 0:14:23
yeah. I appreciated the news. And then they also had like they developed that New York COVID website, where you could check on the daily cases. And that was also a source of information that I found very helpful. Tracking like local spread or school also came out with their own

Ashley Tibollo 0:14:50

Lauren P 0:14:51
I suppose like the numbers which was helpful.

Ashley Tibollo 0:14:54
And how did you feel about how the people around you family, friends community handled the pandemic Was there anything that surprised you?

Lauren P 0:15:04
Um, generally, my small circle was pretty like minded and the fact that we were all being extra careful, like we'll catch up next year, or get together outside with, you know, space and masks. I think the part that surprised us was when we were invited to like a more extended family get together for Thanks... It's either Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it was definitely like before vaccines, and I was like, we are not participating. Like, this is not our comfort level. The fact that they were organizing, it told me that they were not like, so I was just Nope, we're gonna stay safe. And, you know, the nice thing is we can always use our kids, and the fact that we have a foster daughter, and like, she has a lot of community exposure at that time. Like, we don't want to risk it for other people, we can always use that as a fallback for why we're not particularly interested in getting together.

Ashley Tibollo 0:16:14
Did that surprise you that there were people who didn't take it seriously?

Lauren P 0:16:20
Very much. So I probably shouldn't be surprised. But it does surprise me. I don't know. I guess I can have you kind of form your own echo chamber. And then when you hear something from outside that echo chamber, then it kind of it does kind of startle you.

Ashley Tibollo 0:16:41
How did you feel about sort of the protests and political climate during this time?

Lauren P 0:16:50
How do I feel about them?

Ashley Tibollo 0:16:51

Lauren P 0:16:52
I was very supportive. It's hard because it was going on during this like terrible time. And people were trying to, you know, express how they felt and everything that was wrong was going on. And I definitely supported that. And it was nice seeing people doing what they could with masks on. Gosh, it feels like so long ago. But it's still so relevant and still going on.

Ashley Tibollo 0:17:20
Mm hmm.

Lauren P 0:17:22
But yeah.

Ashley Tibollo 0:17:27
How? Let me, let me start over, has your experience transformed how you think about your family, friends, and community?

Lauren P 0:17:43
Yeah, it makes me definitely reflect on our exposure level, just like for everything I was like, we've been so lucky, like through all this, to not have anyone in our immediate circle get sick. But also we haven't had the flu or the cold really, very much either. So it's definitely like, I hope that masks stick around, especially during cold and flu season. And I'm better at saying no to certain things that make us uncomfortable. And we definitely see slowed our... we're kind of easing back in to activities. The kids are still unvaccinated. We are completely vaccinated. I'm curious to know how this school year is gonna go.

Ashley Tibollo 0:18:32
Yeah, for sure. And how was your vaccine experience? Unknown Speaker 0:18:38 I'm a baby when it comes to shots. And I was... it went really, really well. We ended up going to a community center in Buffalo. And I qualified early because of my weight.

Lauren P 0:18:52
BMI what's that? Yeah, it was , what's that called?

Ashley Tibollo 0:18:55
BMI or body mass index.

Lauren P 0:18:59
So we qualified that way. And so we got it a little bit before it was available to others. It was really well organized. There was some AmeriCorps volunteers helping out at the community center. And yeah, I was impressed and it was easy. And I had no reactions to either shots.

Ashley Tibollo 0:19:19
Oh, that's great. Oh, my final question for you is knowing what you know now, what do you think that individuals communities or governments need to keep in mind for the future? Lauren P 0:19:36 I think that it's really important to have a central way to dis... togive information out because I think the most frustrating part through all of this has been the misinformation and like the anti vaccine movement, and where all those people are getting their information and it's very frustrating to see people not thinking for themselves and being a good advocate. And not really what am I trying to say, not critiquing their, their media sources. I don't know how to know them.

Ashley Tibollo 0:20:24
No that makes sense

Lauren P 0:20:24

Ashley Tibollo 0:20:25

Lauren P 0:20:26
Like, where is this coming from? Who is the original source? is it accurate? But I think that moving forward, I think that if we have good information from the top down and shows evidence, I'd like to think that people will learn from that and hopefully think of the community rather than just ourselves. I think there was a bit of selfishness throughout the pandemic, and like people not thinking about what's with the community and for others.

Ashley Tibollo 0:21:05
Yes, I hope so, too. Was there anything that we haven't discussed that you want it to be included? I don't think so..? It was an

Lauren P 0:21:15
interesting, positive and negative experience overall, just like, I'm glad that I had a family during all of it, because I can see it being very lonely for some people. And I think that we're fortunate to have young kids and I don't think it's going to affect them negatively. And like I said, hopefully it will, there will be positive change that comes out of this for the greater good, moving forward.

Ashley Tibollo 0:21:44
I hope so too. Well, thank you so much for your time and your contribution to the archive is greatly appreciated.

Lauren P 0:21:53
You're so welcome. Thank you, Ashley.

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