Date Modified is exactly 10/10/2021
2020-06-06This was my experience as an essential worker during the Covid pandemic.
2021-09-30It all started suddenly. I was visiting my family in the states during Christmas break 2019; everything was perfect life was just fine, and my vacation had to end as planned. I packed my luggage flew back to Sidon, Lebanon, where my husband was waiting for me. I got married in August 2020. I had to leave the state, settle down with my husband, and work because he did not have a green card or American visa. After a few months passed, I decided during the holiday break to visit the U.S. and apply for my husband's alien visa, which is what I did. I went back to my work in Lebanon in the American school after the Christmas break. Our school started again, but all children were sick every day; one of the children did not come at the end of January; almost all the class were absent for a long time. It was the beginning of an immense tragedy. All the news started talking about a new virus spreading fast around the world. I did not even think one percent of the virus would spread worldwide, which was only the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic. The economic situation in Lebanon was destroying every day, and many revolutions plus when covid-19 began, it started to get worst every day. We did not know what to expect my family away from me, which made me more anxious. Our school received a letter from the secretary of education all schools must shut down in two days or less, and this was the situation around the world, not only in Lebanon. By the beginning of February, all schools, government places, even private, malls almost the whole country shut down for more than six months completely. The street was like a horror movie. My life routine got missed up, and the entire planet, many people lost their lives and the people of my family as well. I was so worried about my family, praying that nothing would happen to them, especially I was away. I did not even work from home because I was only a teacher assistant nothing much left to do; even the gym closed, so I started working out at home. One day my lawyer called from the states and told me my husband's case pended because the immigration was closed till further notice, my mental health was distorted and duplicate as well my husband. Due to my husband is a refuge and has no citizen, we could not do anything about it besides waiting. Days passed by, and the situation was getting worse, and nothing was changing. August 4, 2020, we went to my family law spent the day there. Everyone likes to nap through the day, and this was what we were about to do till a one-time big explosion happened in Beruit, Lebanon Hundreds of people lost their lives the country got into a whole tragic pandemic plus outbreak. Two days later, we received an email from the U.S.CIS asking for the rest of the documents to make an interview appointment. We received another email that said my husband's interview would be on November 15. I felt that everything was going in the right direction after months of depression, especially with the covid-19 pandemic and the economic and political situation. Life in Lebanon is not safe for living anymore. There was a lockdown from nowhere; the governor used to pick random days for the lockdown as if it was a puzzle. A day before the interview, the Immigration lawyer called asking me if we received an email about canceling the interview, which I did has no idea what was going on. I was crying so hard felt like life would remain this way called the embassy emergency said, we can not help; this is an emergency for life and death. It would be best if we waited till they decided on a new interview appointment. We got into a massive fight with my husband called my family crying nonstop, telling them how much I missed them and wanted to come back home. Covid-19 is a curse destroying our dreams. I emailed the embassy hundreds of times and called the immigration office in NYC, but nothing they could do for me. I asked them why the embassy canceled my husband's interview, and the answers were like the covid lockdown. They told me you could leave Lebanon and come back without your husband. I would never leave him behind depressed. The next day I received an email that I needed to keep checking the embassy's available interview days, and this is what we kept doing. We felt like we were hopeless and had no more powers. One day at night, my husband told me to check if anything was available for December because the rest of November days are unavailable. We were lucky enough to find one on December 9, 2021. We were so worried about getting canceled again, but luckily it did not, few days passed, and the date had come he got the visa, and obviously, they did not allow me into the embassy due to covid-19. We waited a week to get his passport back. Once we received it, it booked tickets right away and flew to New York. It was the first time for us traveling during covid-19, nothing is easy PCR test is required even though no one asked for it, we wore the face mask for almost 24hours it felt like hell. We arrived safely in the states after months of struggling. We asked not to leave the house for 15 days, filled an application with our phone numbers and address. Before and after Covid-19, nothing was the same hugging my family after a long time was like heaven. For me being by their side was all I needed during these days. I pray for better days, days without covid-19.