2020-04-12Primary Source Essay Wildania Hernandez The primary source I’m using for this project is a picture of my family on a zoom call celebrating my father’s birthday on march 12, 2020. This is how my family and myself had to gather together to actually spend some time since the virus started. Our family is a very united family, we are very close and before COVID-19 started we used to get together in somebody’s house and just cook and dance and talk, and enjoy every second of it but everything changed when the virus started it was spreading too fast, and everybody was scared. I remember how my mom was always watching the news and you could see all the videos of all those people that died in Queens and they had so many bodies that they didn't have a place to put them. Funeral homes were full and all I could think was about those families who lost a loved one and how some people were thinking that COVID was fake. The first time we use zoom was to celebrate my father’s birthday, it was something new and not something like we usually do but at least we got to see some of our family members. We were always home since we stopped working because of the pandemic. We used to work for a medical transportation company so we were “Essentials Workers”, we transport people to get dialysis treatment 3 times a week and after the virus started to get stronger we had to stop working because almost every patient we transported died of COVID-19 before the wave of summer even started. Sadly the COVID ended the life of two members in my family, at the end of June we got the news that one of my aunts was at the hospital on life support, three weeks later one of my uncle was in the same situation. We couldn't see them or say goodbye, everything just happened so fast that we were in shock and this is how we started our “Weekly zoom meetings”. The reason why I selected this source is because I want to show historians of the future how families use to communicate in a group without getting together. We used this tool to so much that we had an schedule, every Friday we had a zoom meeting to just talk about our week. To talk about our different point of view of the pandemic and not only that but all of the events that happened last year, like the protest that started shortly after George Floyd was killed, and the election in November but most importantly those zoom meetings was just to make sure that everybody was good and to support each other since some of my family members were still working outside. Crazy how everything started last year and now we have a vaccine and hopefully everything will go back to normal in no time but for now we need to live with the memory of what started in the year 2020 that affected the whole world.
2021-04Getting my Covid vaccine.
2020-07-15For my primary source, I selected a photograph I took at a protest held in front of the Bronx Community College campus on July 15, 2021. The Professional Staff Union of CUNY (PSC-CUNY), the union for the faculty and much of the staff throughout CUNY, organized the event to protest the BCC administration June 26 decision to lay off 36 experienced adjunct professors at the end of their 3-year contracts, even though that their departments recommended that they be rehired. People in the picture include BCC Faculty, staff, and students, as well as those from as well as people from Hostos Community College, who came to support the BCC community and were facing similar cuts. The day was very hot, but I was nervous to the subway because of COVID, so I rode my bike from my home (about 24 miles roundtrip). I was pretty sweaty and probably stinky when I arrived. It was the first time I had been to campus since March 10, when, on my way home from school on the subway, I learned CUNY was moving online. (The campus itself was locked, but we stood in front of the gate on University.) It was also the first time I people from school in person since March; I was so happy to talk to them. It was weird to be with a group people, after months of isolation, but we all wore masks and stood six feet apart. Cars honked their support as they drove by. I selected this source because I want historians of the future to understand how the pandemic hit higher education and the connections among the COVID crisis, social justice movements, and education. Although I went to larger marches after the murder of George Floyd, I believe funding for CUNY is a form of social justice. I was angry that politicians and school administrators were giving lip-service to the phrase Black Live Manners, while cutting funding and jobs from CUNY. BCC’s students are overwhelmingly Black and Latinx, and many studies show that a CUNY education is one of the best schools for supporting social mobility, helping people support themselves and their families. Firing the adjuncts not only meant the teachers lost their income, and, sometimes, their health insurance, but that BCC students would be in larger classes; larger classes mean faculty have less time to devote to each student, which can make it harder to for students to succeed. While I understood enrollment was down and the budget from the city and state would likely be smaller because of the economic toll of the pandemic, I thought there were other places the administration could cut costs. (Such as their own salaries). I want historians to see that the faculty and staff of CUNY fought for what their students deserved and the connections among CUNY, social justice, and New York’s economic recovery. I also want them to see how people approached protests, which require gathering together with other people and often chanting or shouting, while in the middle of a pandemic that required people to stay apart and cover their mouths.