Date is exactly 2021-10-15
2021-10-15I interviewed my younger sibling, 'F', and transcribed the audio. They completed Year 12 in 2020 and then began university in 2021, which I believe is a significant transitionary time especially in the context of Covid to document. Their experiences in using different media forms for online classes is insightful and provides an interesting comparison. Additionally they provide insights into changing interests, socialising online, and reflecting on the world around them. They reflect on how they believe the nature of people has changed in relation to each other in an isolated but connected world, which I believe will be an interesting and informative insight for the future to gain an indepth understanding of the Covd-19 era from the perspective of the youth.
2021-10-15Before 2020, I hardly ever burned a candle. My parents had forbid it, convinced me or my siblings were going to forget about it and burn the house down. My dorm room had extremely strict (and understandable) rules about open flames and heat sources. It wasn’t until I had graduated college and moved back into and then out of my parents’ house that I was free of these regulations. Even then, though, it never occurred to me to buy candles. My favorite scents were often nature-based and could easily be experienced by visiting the ocean, or the forest, or the occasional bakery. It wasn’t until the pandemic, when I was living in Ohio without being comfortable traveling to the ocean, or to the forest, or in public at all, that I turned to candles. Soon one impulse purchase of a sea salt and balsam scented candle turned into a constant hunt for all of my favorite scents, to bring me to places I didn’t feel safe or responsible traveling to. My collection grew rapidly, and for the past year or so I’ve had a candle lit in my home almost every day. I never thought something a simple as a $7 candle I found at TJ Maxx or Bath & Body Works could bring me so much peace, calming my need to return to my favorite far-off places until it is once again safe to do so. Don’t get me wrong, candles still can’t compare to the real smells I adore, but even a weak imitation is better than a scent-less longing. Even though I’m currently residing in Ohio, I can use candles to feel connected to my home state of California, or my favorite places to visit, bringing comfort and familiarity in a time that is anything but comfort and familiar. My bank account may not be happy with me given this new habit, but it’s a price I am willing to pay.
2021-10-15My six-year-old son often forgets he’s wearing a mask. We’ll leave his school, the grocery store, anywhere really, and he’ll spend the entire car ride home with his mask still on. He’s even tried to eat with it on a few times! I can always hear when he’s forgotten to take it off because it muffles his voice. He talks constantly, I like to say that he actually voices his internal monologue, so I can tell exactly when he takes his mask off even if I can’t see him. When I hear that he’s still wearing his mask, I often think about the instability of being a child (and raising a child) during a global pandemic. His life and his routines have changed so frequently in the past year and a half, but he has been incredibly adaptive and understanding the entire time. Hearing his muffled little voice always makes me appreciate this awesome kid of mine while also making me really consider these chaotic times we’re living in.
2021-10-15In the year 2020, I was a medical assistant working for a cancer surgery clinic. The pandemic posed huge challenges for people working in healthcare and created new staggering standards for cleanliness and infection control. With limited personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, it made everyday clinic operations very challenging. With cancer patients, most of whom were undergoing treatments that lowered their immune system, and many of whom had just had surgery which can increase risk of infection, medical staff took COVID safety precautions very seriously. Dealing with people battling illness can be challenging under normal circumstances because they are often feeling emotional and scared, but during COVID, tensions were running even higher. I will never forget patients using condescending, edgy, and outright angry tones with me when I would call for a COVID symptom screening prior to their appointment, inform them that they had to wear a mask at all times while in the clinic, or that they were unable to bring a family member to the exam room during a follow-up appointment with a doctor. Over the phone and in person, many patients used tense and tempestuous tones to take out their anger over a situation none of us had any control over. Often, there were political connotations to any discussion of clinic COVID policy, which was unusual in a conversation about infection control. Many patients would protest getting their temperature taken or question the accuracy of their oximetry reading (a started part of vitals even before the pandemic). It was always a relief to have a patient who took a dignified breath and calmly understood that the rules were in place for everyone's safety and were an inconvenience to all involved. There were several days where I would go off to an empty exam room during my lunch break and cry. Tension during the first year of the COVID pandemic was audible.