I. Plan: 1. My life in a pandemic. II. Main part: 1. My life in a pandemic. I don't think anyone remembers the pandemic era with good memories. It's true, when the quarantine started, all students were happy, they thought that now they can rest at home and get a salary without working. But later on, this quarantine leads to the economic stress of not only the citizen, but also the family, even the country, the laziness of the citizens, the people of various professions, and the ignorance of the students due to the fact that they have been transferred to full online education. many did not think. Imagine if a medical student spends more than 1 year studying online in quarantine, how can he be trusted to treat a sick HUMAN BEING after graduation. This is an example of one occupation. I don't remember the quarantine period with good memories either. Until the quarantine, I was temporarily unemployed due to the liquidation of our organization, my husband did not work anywhere, we had no income. In a difficult situation, I found a job in a private organization in the center of our region in the night shift and started learning. I had to support my family and pay off loans. Quarantine was announced on the third day after I started work, I left the night shift and went out in the morning. There is no one on the street, neither people nor cars. I had a lot of trouble until I got home, the fares have increased. When I was going to our district, they closed the border posts on the road and stopped the traffic between the region and the district. People were trying to move from district to region and from region to district in vehicles. I also lost the job I just got. In order to do business, I opened a store selling office equipment for rent in the center of our district. Quarantine measures were further strengthened. It was not possible to go out during the day or at night. Even if we talked with our neighbor near our house, the internal affairs officers would come and insist that we enter the house. We didn't have enough facilities in our house, internet, modern telephone or TV and so on. My 2 young children were very bored. Food was brought to our neighborhood every day in transport, but we saved money to buy it. In such a difficult situation, every day we saw information about daily illnesses and deaths of citizens on TV, and our morale was depressed. During the quarantine period, the Muslim holiday of Eid took place, and one of the good people gave us food from his son for our livelihood. Many thanks to the head of our state and other leaders, neighborhood workers and entrepreneurs, who during the quarantine period distributed necessary food products to the families in need in all 9255 neighborhoods in Uzbekistan. Quarantine has caused difficulties for some, but it has brought great benefits to others. For example, the price of a simple mask has increased up to eight times. Residents rushed to their homes and bought various types of food from the market, which led to an artificial increase in prices. This caused difficulties for poor families. During the quarantine, not a single person or car could be seen on our crowded street, which was a very boring sight. As soon as the quarantine ended, a person close to me offered to work at the university, I agreed and was very happy. I had a hard time until my first month, because we had just come out of the quarantine. Thank God, our situation is good now, we live happily with my family. I wanted to write many more life stories about the quarantine, unfortunately, it was limited. III. Summary Quarantine has taught us and our country a lot, showing the consequences of not having enough knowledge and practice of medicine during the pandemic, full online education of pupils and students, or citizens not leaving home, harming the future of education, and not following cleanliness. put One of the best news I heard during the quarantine was the partial restoration of the ecology and azan layer in various countries due to the decrease in tourism in the world. Everyone knows that the life of all living organisms on earth is closely related to ecology. In conclusion, thanks to our president who thought of our people during the quarantine, worried about them, took care of them and only thought of the people, put his family second and served the people, sleep and I thank the tireless doctors, internal affairs officers and other state employees. I would also like to thank the people who organized the contest of essays about quarantine, because everyone is relieved to share their experiences. I think that such pandemics will not happen again in my lifetime. I believe that by using the ideas in these essays, an article, a book or a documentary film will be published that will benefit people.
The start of the pandemic was shocking for me as was standing in front of the very essential level up of my life - I was applying to higher education. Let me begin with something good. I had already reviewed my IELTS certification on March 6, before everywhere was closed for quarantine starting from March 15, 2020. That was the only achievement that got me into an American university. But what about finishing compulsory education? The quality of education is seriously dropped, and many of us missed our additional lessons for preparation because walking outside while quarantine costed rocket high. One of the pity things for me was that I and all of my friends couldn't have the graduation ceremony and party that we expected to be unforgettable memories. Overall, no high school or lyceum graduate couldn't experience it in Uzbekistan. Whenever we visit our school or lyceum in May for graduation ceremonies and look at graduates we feel like: "Yeah, they're having it". The worst feeling ever. We are seven in my family. My grandparents are over 80 and my parents are also quite old. I have a brother and a sister who are schoolers. Covid hit us significantly as we experienced it multiple times during the period. My father had a very severe type. He managed to get well at home because we were sure there weren't enough places at Covid treating centers. After him, I. High temperatures were a real burden for me and antibiotics were too difficult to come over for my stomach. However, thank God, other members of the family felt Covid like simple flu and just several doses of treatment immediately got them on their feet. One of the bitter truths about the family I realized during the pandemic is that too much family time is harmful to the inter-family relationship. I wanted to run away somehow. At the times when everyone worked and studied far from home, at the end of the day we enjoyed the family gathering as we missed each other. But in quarantine, we were fed up with each other. One interesting fact, the number of divorces increased during the quarantine in my country. I live in the countryside, almost 2 hours from the city center and during the pandemic our town became dead. Not a single body was outside, most of the shops were closed, and the hospital which is at the end of our street was supervised by military forces. Every 2-3 hours there were military cars along the street informing us not to go out at certain hours of the day and how to take measures and behave while we are outside. It was scary that it felt like a commendation regime in war periods. I was seventeen and this environment caused me to experience severe depression without any hope for my bright future and online lessons caused my eyes side to drop, and gave me early back, and heart pains. It felt like my body got older by 10 years but in front of my eyes, time barely passed. About after 6 months, when quarantine rules pretty eased down and we were finally allowed to visit the university, I felt some significant changes in my receptor organs - my tongue and nose. Things start to taste differently and smells just turned off. I was eating food like from another planet and for additional five or six months, I missed the real taste of meat and fried potatoes. Still, I start recognizing the smell two or three times slower than normal people, and eggs, greens, and cucumbers still taste different than it was before the pandemic. Starting face-to-face studies and communication with peers was very precious for me. However, there were sad stories too. Two of my peers who had been accepted to Japanese and Korean universities couldn't get there due to quarantine in both countries. Moreover, some girls told me that they lost loved ones and even family members during the pandemic. After, hearing them I felt grateful for all I have almost haven't changed during the pandemic. Bonus sad story by me: my family won the Green Card DV-2020 program but due to quarantine our visas expired. Now, everything we spent getting into the US is just burned, nothing left. Yes, now everything is just passed away and all we have now is mostly memories and unforgettable life lessons. So, what I learned from the pandemic is very precious to me. Firstly, I started to appreciate the freedom that is given to me and learned to experience more gratefulness. It wasn't all about the feelings, too. My hard skills also improved even though I have learned them online. That might be too much, so let me conclude. The world is not sure if Covid-19 is just spread by bats or if it was an unfinished biological weapon, one thing is obvious we are just killing ourselves and slowing down our evolution. Curiosity kills the cat, I hope we won't appear in the place of that cat again.
“Does this make you feel any sort of way?” I was asked, an inquisitive look flashing across the doctor's face. “Sometimes being diagnosed with something can be,” she paused, debating her next word choices. “Affirming?” I asked her. I looked around the well decorated room trying to formulate my thoughts. The velvet couch that I was sitting on irritated me and almost made me feel like I needed to itch every part of my body. The psychiatrist's many degrees were displayed across the cream walls, held up by matte black picture frames. The room felt stuffy. No book was out of place and no painting was not curated so that it matched perfectly to the room. The perfection strangled me and soothed me at the same time. While sitting there listening to her talk, I had managed to peel off all of my nail polish that I had recently gotten painted, green flakes of paint piling in my hands. I thought being diagnosed with a mental disorder that I had known that I had for many years would be affirming. Instead, it filled me with a sense of dread. Sleepless nights now had a reason. Hands washed over and over again now had an explanation. You would think that would have given me some peace, but instead only one word flashed across my mind, over and over. Crazy. Two long months later, Covid-19 entered the United States. Every night, I sat on the couch with my family, listening to various politicians discuss scientific topics they knew nothing about. Every so often, a case notification would flash across my phone, informing me that someone in my country, state, or city had been recently infected by Covid-19. Buildings were shut down and restaurants started to change their ways to accommodate the new ways of life. Irrational fears once only held by me were now prevalent in the public. People started washing their hands an abnormal amount of times and wore gloves while walking their dogs. In a way, it made me feel less alone. It became hard to come up with new things to do everyday. Like many other people, I tried new workout videos and watched TV that I had never seen before. I deep cleaned every area of my house and read mystery novels in my bed while listening to the rain. I had online classes but they were a joke; none of my teachers had any experience teaching online and it was impossible to focus in the confines of my room. We tried to distract ourselves with board game nights and themed dinners, but it was hard to ignore how the seasons flashed before our eyes and we were still stuck in our houses. Like everyone around me, I slowly started to lose it. It became tiring to do things that were once considered relaxing and all the time left alone with my thoughts allowed anxiety to sneak past my senses. Like many other people around me, I was scared to leave the house for various reasons; I didn't want to infect my father who was a doctor and was needed on the front lines or my mother who was still trying to navigate ways to teach her students from her desk. It became hard to decipher what thoughts were rational and which thoughts were not. Eventually, I became tired of trying to control the ever-present anxiety that had once made me feel so alone. A few months later, my family was in the car driving to Pennsylvania. We had packed the car with all the things we thought we would need; blankets were piled in the back, toys rolled around in the trunk, and excitement filled the car with happiness that we hadn't felt since pre-pandemic. We reached our destination, my brother and I practically falling out of the car running to the door. As I stepped in, outfitted with an N95 mask, I was greeted with wonderful little bundles of fur nipping on my shoelaces. I knelt down as eight little puppies ran around with no control over their own limbs, tripping and falling over each other. Many seconds later, they started to tire and settled down, snuggling with each other while falling asleep. However, one puppy could not handle her excitement and was still climbing all over me, nuzzling her head into my hair while trying to chew on my earring. At that moment I knew that I hadn't come here, to this little house in Pennsylvania, to choose a puppy. The puppy had already chosen me. Flash forward two years later, and my pandemic puppy was one of the best things that ever happened to me. She forced our family to go on walks in the neighborhood and interact with people from afar. She brought happiness to our lives that we didn't know we needed. At the time I didn't know that it was possible for a dog to bring me so much joy. Now I know that by adopting her, we didn't just save her life, we saved mine.
The Coronavirus outbreak that swept the planet showed me humanity's true colors. I saw the news stories of doctors and nurses living in their garages to protect their families. I watched interviews and live feeds across social media praising teachers for finding ways to continue teaching. I watched communities come together to take care of each other with free mini libraries and food pantries. I saw neighbors put up signs thanking frontline workers, while others put out drinks and snacks for their delivery drivers. And yet, despite all that bravery and love, I became bombarded with what can only be described as my breaking point. Videos of frontline workers being assaulted filled social media feeds. Heartbreaking stories emerged of people attacking hospital staff in parking lots. Customers fighting in shops for “necessities”. Infamous Karen videos became the norm. The world had become a violent terrifying place. Not only were we fighting an invisible virus; we were trying to survive against the losing battle of self-importance and entitlement. My parents instilled in me the belief that every single life matters and thus deserves nothing less than the utmost respect. The janitor mopping the floors deserves to be treated the same as the CEO, as one without the other could not succeed. I always held this belief in my heart, and it crushed me to see that this was not a universal belief. Being a retail worker myself at the time, I was afraid. Every time I left my house my body was preparing for fight or flight. In my head I would come up with ways I could defend myself physically if someone came at me; my go to was a pen in my hand at all times. I had only a mask at the time to keep me safe from a virus coming for me… It would do little against a fist. Taking the TTC; the Toronto public transit system, I had to keep a close eye on those around me. Backing away from those who refused to social distance, and biting my tongue until it bled under my mask when people would take theirs off. Sometimes I would speak up, but I always knew the risk I took doing so. Someday someone would come at me, and I wouldn't be able to physically defend myself. I reached a point where I no longer cared. I was tired of fighting an uphill battle. All I could think of was my family and of families like mine; who were doing everything in their power to make things safe; taking care of each other in such trying times. I would stare at the mask less, proudly smirking because no one could tell them what to do, as they would yell out in victory, “We won't be controlled.” and “I'm not wearing a muzzle!” My hatred for them grew every day; the more bare faces I saw the more frustration built. Why were they more important than my mother? My father? My sister? Why couldn't they get that this wasn't a political issue? No one was trying to silence them. They were free to believe whatever they wanted. Policies were made to prevent the spread. You don't want to wear a mask? Then don't. But then you can't complain online, or scream at employees when you're denied entry. You can't scream that your freedoms and rights are being violated when stores have the right to refuse service, while police remove you from private property. They wanted others to follow the rules so that they could be safe, but then turned around and refused to do the same for others. Time and time again I was baffled by their selfishness. Why is your comfort more important than someone's life? How can anyone be so cruel? Did they have hearts of stone? How could you see the footage of bodies being pulled out of long term care homes and pretend it's normal? How could you watch videos of exhausted nurses barely able to take off their PPE gear while tears rolled down their cheeks, from hours of calling codes? How could it not crush your soul to hear the cries of families mourning their children. We were losing mothers, fathers, sisters, daughters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, best friends, and yet they still didn't care, because it wasn't them. My family should have been safe, protected by you and yours, just as we did for you. But in your eyes, we weren't worth the inconvenience. Our lives didn't matter. The pandemic not only taught me I can't trust others to do the right thing, but it stole a future from me. I lost my faith in humanity, and with it, my dreams of ever becoming a mother. There is no sense to bring another life into this world just to witness this exact scenario in the next pandemic. For them to feel the fear, disgust, hopelessness and rage I felt. That so many of us felt. This isn't a world I want to make another suffer through.. So in a weird way, I have a pandemic to thank for showing me humanity's true colors. It took so much from us; years, resources, loved ones, but, it confirmed that we will always be creatures of habit. And even in the most dire of circumstances, people won't ever change.
Coronavirus. The end of the world as we know it. Thousands of people struggled to adjust to the new way of life. For example, school has been split between virtual and brick-and-mortar, a term we all hate. School, and life in general, doesn't feel real. It's like I'm reliving one day, each day, over and over, in a constant cycle that only ceases when I'm asleep. One aspect of life that helps slow down the endless cycle is the routine of school. The best part of school besides the rare sighting of interesting classes is the searching for a nice group of friends and keeping them. You have to find people you vibe with, or it won't work. Finding the perfect group of high school friends takes work. Like finding the perfect pair of glasses. If the energy is blurry, I can't see myself staying in that situation. With there being so much distance between people playing it safe and people risking their lives, I feel like I know nobody. It's difficult to actually socialize considering I have never seen some of these people in real life. The pull to attend brick-and-mortar school is strong, but my desire to not catch a virus is stronger. Especially with people breathing down my neck constantly, trying to guilt me with “I miss yous.” Texting me “it's so fun here.” Don't forget the fan favorite “they give out free snacks.” They also give out a free virus that I'm not interested in. When the option was proposed for students to return to brick and mortar, I knew from the beginning my answer would be no. Some kids were eager to return, but not me. Sure, it would prove to be a fun social experience, where you could meet lots of new friends. But I didn't want to meet the coronavirus along with them. This decision to stay safe and at home didn't sit right with my friends. To this day, I receive requests to log into the district portal and switch that selection to “brick and mortar.” It's weird to think that I won't truly step foot on my school until sophomore year or later. Even though my friends miss me, I'm not comfortable with returning to normal school. People can pull my leg or try to convince me, but I won't do it. I'm happy standing my ground just as the coronavirus cells will stand infectiously in their noses.
I would like to take this opportunity right here, right now, to show my immense appreciation and gratitude to teachers. You do what I cannot do. You have the patience that I will never have. You amaze me every day. Teachers, I love you. And I respect you. Will you marry me? I'll do anything, if you'll only promise to never leave me again. School is a point of contention in our household. I love it, my husband loves it, my daughter likes it occasionally, and my son hates it. I can't say that I blame him either. He has ADHD and is the square peg trying to fit into the round hole when it comes to getting along at school. In the couple months leading up to spring break 2020, he was completely unable to be in his classroom all day. I would get phone calls from the school telling me that he was hanging out in the hallway with the Education Assistant because the class was too distracting. We toyed with the idea of homeschooling him. But after a trial period of about 5 days where we brought him home at midday, we realised that we didn't have the stamina for it. He asks a lot of fucking questions. They come rapid-fire, like bullets out of a semi-automatic, and he doesn't wait for the answer to the first one before asking the next twelve. The vast majority of them are obscure, or require a PhD in something like mechanical, aeronautical, or medical engineering. Despite our best efforts, he wasn't interested in going on hikes or bike rides, or doing any at-home learning. He just wanted to watch tv and play Minecraft. In the end, we worked to get him back to school for full days and agreed that we would not be bringing up homeschooling again. Ever. Obviously we all know how that turned out when lockdown rolled around. Can we just agree that there are certain things that you need an actual human in front of you for? Yes, we have amazing technology at our disposal. Yes, it has opened up the world and made things possible that were previously impossible. But as a species, we have not yet evolved past the need for human connection. The in-person kind (I can't even believe I have to specify that.) We'll know when we've evolved past it because we won't ever feel lonely. In fact, we probably won't feel anything at all. We won't feel an urge to fall in love, or have sex, or make a real friend. Until that day, a day that I hope never comes for mankind, we still need each other: not virtually, but physically. Which is why this whole virtual schooling thing is not going to work. The platform our school is using for online learning is meant for adults, therefore it has a chat box as well as the video function. At any point, students with unlimited access to their technology and minimal parent supervision can contact their teachers day and night. And they have. At all hours of the night. The school has sent out numerous emails to the parents asking them to get a handle on their kids so they don't interrupt the private lives of their teachers. It's been a disaster. But that doesn't even begin to describe the online learning portion. Each day the class has a morning meeting from 09:30-09:50. It goes a little like this: “Good morning Tiana…good morning Tiana…can you unmute yourself please? Tiana? Please can you unmute yourself? Okay I think there's an issue there, good morning Rashid, can you mute your mic please, there's too much noise in the background. I need those students that are currently using the chat box to post memes and videos to please stop because it's distracting.” That carries on for a few minutes. Then the teacher says, “Okay so now that everyone is here, we're going to do our greeting chain.” The first time I heard that, I thought, surely there must be a mistake. She just greeted everyone, didn't she? But alas, they must now greet each other. The greeting chain has a theme based on the first letter of the day of the week, such as “Wine Guzzling Wednesday” or “Fuck This Pandemic Friday.” Its success was dependent entirely on the students' level of interest (somewhere in the negative numbers for my son) and willingness to participate. While I think the exercise was an unprecedented waste of time and resources, I found plenty to be amused by. My personal favourite was when the class was playing 20 questions. The teacher held up a paper bag and asked everyone to guess what was inside. After about 47 questions, the kids had it pinned down as a food item and proceeded to list off every variety of orange they could think of. Kid: Is it an orange? Teacher: It is not an orange. Kid: Is it a clementine? Teacher: It is not a clementine. It's not an orange. Kid:…Is it a mandarin? Teacher: O.K. you guys, it's not an orange. Kid: Is it a blood orange? Teacher: *exasperated* It is NOT an orange. Kid: Is it a tangerine? Teacher: IT'S A BAGEL. A BAGEL! IT'S A BAGEL! NOT AN ORANGE! A BAGEL! AND NOW IT'S COLD! *sigh* Lets work on multiplication now.
My brother and I had not spoken to each for about 5 years. All due to an argument that his girlfriend caused. She single-handedly alienated my entire family and my brother. It wasn't until years later when I was officiating at my nephew's wedding that my brother and I spoke again. I told him that I would forgive him for what he put our family through but not forget. It was soon after, that COVID-19 reared its ugly head. It started a pandemic that the world had never seen before. It claimed millions of victims by the time the virus showed any signs of subsiding. Little did we know that one of the victims would be my brother. My brother had been diagnosed with some type of blood disorder that his doctor's claimed would take his life in two years. That was eight years ago. My brother, Joe, had surpassed his “death date” as he called it. He beat those odds only to succumb to COVID-19. It started as just a cough but being a longtime smoker he didn't pay much attention to it. Joe started to exhibit other symptoms besides the cough. Muscle aches, fatigue and vomiting is what made him decide to go to the doctor and be tested. The results were in and although my brother did not get the answer from the doctor that he was hoping for he was prepared for the worst. He was put in quarantine for the next two weeks. His health began to deteriorate as time went on. It was decided that it was in my brother‘s best interest to be sent to another hospital for physical rehab. COVID-19 had weakened him to the point of needing help walking, feeding himself and dressing himself. Many things that most people take for granted. Our entire family helped as much as we could. We all knew that we were ignoring the inevitable, especially when he was moved from the physical rehab hospital to the hospice. They didn't know how much longer he had but they wanted him to be comfortable. It was bad enough that when he was under quarantine nobody was permitted to see him but it was even harder when he was in the hospice. In his weakened state the visits had to be short in order for Joe to get as much rest as possible. To be honest, I preferred the limited visits. It was devastating to see my big brother just wasting away. During this ordeal my brother and I talked. Rather, he talked and I listened. It seemed to me that all he wanted was an ear to bend and a sympathetic heart. I asked him how he felt about knowing that he's going to be dying soon. I expected him to be upset or frustrated. Angry, sad, something. Somehow he was fine with it. He knew it was coming sooner or later and he told me that he didn't have any regrets. There was nothing that he needed to do. Everything he wanted to do in life he did. Joe saw his kids grow up and have their own children, his grandchildren. He got a chance to see his grandchildren grow up and have their children, his great grandchildren. What he said is true. Not too many people get to be around when their great grandchildren are born. I doubted that he was okay with all this going on but the more he and I spoke the more I knew he was being totally honest about how he felt. The only thing he was saddened about was that he wasn't sure if he would be alive to see his youngest daughter, his baby girl, have her first child. Unfortunately, he passed away about two weeks before his last grandchild was born. His last granddaughter, Ava Delilah. Growing up I saw my brother as a certain type of person. A troublemaker, opinionated, arrogant plus a few other choice words. During our many conversations I got to know Joe, the person, not Joe, my brother. I began to understand why he did and said many things while we were growing up. I had truly misjudged him and for that I apologized to him. My brother was very spiritual and believed that everyone had a Guardian Angel. He believed that his was with “El Indio” which translates to “The Indian”. “El Indio”was his Guardian Angel and was to be his guide once he passed. During our conversations I kept thinking about “El Indio” and what it meant to my brother so I decided to draw a picture for him. He was gone before I got a chance to give it to him. At his wake I went up to the casket to pay my respects. I put the picture in the casket with Joe and told him that he now has his guide to show the way. At my nephew's wedding I told my brother that I would forgive him for what he did to the family but not forget. After getting to know my brother with all our talks I got to know the real person. The reasoning behind all his actions are somewhat clear to me although not everything but it was enough to have closure and move on. It was time, to forgive and forget and I'm glad I did it before it was too late. Love you big brother, R.I.P.
Selfish. Stubborn. Lazy. These characteristics were what people used to think about me until just one year ago. I was just an ordinary teenager struggling to find my place in life. However, the pandemic changed everything completely. In March of 2020, the COVID-19 hit my country of Uzbekistan, affecting jobs, education, and the common welfare like everywhere else. My parents went out of their jobs, with little money left for the coming months. In those dark and lean times, I couldn't go to private lessons, spend so much as I had had, and help worrying about my future. In order to survive, we all had to do hard work on a farm nearby all day long. That period lasted for three months, and I did nothing but started to learn my lesson and the ropes. Consequently, I realized that many jobs, including that in farmland, are permanently under threat thanks to the technology, and that I could no longer depend on my parents. Education was the only remaining choice. I was then 16. Before the disaster, I had done some English lessons and then decided to achieve an English Proficiency Certificate, IELTS for my future prospects. All the resources that I possessed - all of a sudden - became valuable. I was really in fear, lacking self-confidence, finding countless excuses for my laziness. This was probably because others' opinions of me and my studies affected me, and I had left a bad taste in their mouths. You have probably guessed; they had a bad influence on me. Yet, the virus and its impacts kept reminding me about what I was trying to achieve as well as to avoid. No one normally wants to be poor and uneducated, which prevents them from leading a healthy and comfortable life. That was what made me keep going at the time. Little by little, I managed to overcome those problems and began making improvements. It seemed quite necessary to learn - for higher education - a whole range of new skills: public speaking, computer tools, programming, and many others I had not tried or known before. I questioned myself for the first time: what I was doing in life, why I was doing it, and of course what was the meaning of my existence. Reading books, especially psychology ones, was my another daily habit soon to answer the all-important questions. Challenges and difficulties always stood in my way; for example, not only did I frequently failed to keep fit and well because of too much pressure, but I also gave up the idea that I could equally make progress in all activities I had chosen. The two problems taught how to be flexible and take the decision based on the situation. However, the pandemic still worried me sick. Time passed. I realized that I am a human-being, full of dreams and purposes in my own life. And that once we die, we should probably do nothing but leave good memories and deeds. By the way, I had achieved one of my goals, IELTS 7.5 by that time. Following this, I did my best to help my friends and peers in this language test. I have been following another set of dreams, ranging from studying abroad to working in my dream job: computer programming since then. All of these may have resulted from the process I underwent ,along with, the books that shaped my mindset. I am now a completely different person, compared to a nervous, egoistic teenager. Life is precious. The pandemic definitely made irreversible loss of life, together with, damage to our emotional state. It was the critical point for us all in the meantime. Of course, there are a million ways of making changes to your life, some of which include motivation, fear, and duty. I didn't know the exact reason behind my efforts, but it was certain that I did them all out of fear of being miserable, poor, and useless.
As the pandemic's shroud fell over the U.S. in mid-March 2020, my wife just fortuitously enough happened to have started a new exercise program online – something called “Peloton”. With the “stay at home” orders and much more coming into effect, and a lot of our work/school immediately going virtual, working out at home all of a sudden became a real family activity. The pandemic accelerated our entire family participating in these Peloton online workouts, with all of us regularly doing yoga – driving a significant interest in health & wellness from our 11 year old boy/girl twins. We exercised so frequently that my children started clamoring to purchase the Peloton Bike – with its rather massive cost, my wife suggested that the children put together a Powerpoint presentation/business case, outlining the ROI of purchasing such an item. Unbeknownst to them, we had already purchased one – but their presentation sealed the deal! The skill of performing online research, putting together slides and (most terrifyingly for my daughter) having to present to her father made for a great experience for all. Much of our kids' research was conducted on laptops that they had to purchase as virtual schooling started. In the early days of the pandemic, I decided that the family would need a non-stop stream of entertainment, and moreover found that there was a treasure trove of items online, so quickly became my family's “Arts & Culture” Department. I scoured the Net for activities that the family could partake in, while exposing them to the performing arts. We started with a screening of the original Broadway musical “CATS” (Andrew Lloyd Webber version) which my kids weren't too fond of. I then found a performance of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as my kids had never seen/heard a classical music concert before. Our daughter is fond of singing, so we enrolled her in a virtual Met Opera camp - and wound up watching 1 or 2 Met Opera performances. In-general, I did anything to expose the kids to various forms of the arts, while also being somewhat entertaining and rather different from the usual “NetFlix/movie night” that many fell into. This worked for quite some time – though not without consternation from my kids, who began to tire of the random series of events I'd have planned for us to experience (all of which I would then donate to online – as these artists would be posting their work online gratis since all live performances were cancelled). My wife played along to my whole shtick and served as a cheerleader. We also realized that technology had changed the paradigm for summer camps– we had no need to only look at Dallas-based camps for our kids, my wife told me. And that's all she needed to say. Beyond the Met Opera camp (which was based out of NYC), our son participated in a basketball camp with the NBA's Orlando Magic, having assistant coaches in Florida berate him over Zoom as he did pushups in our driveway at 6am! My daughter learned all types of arts & crafts from curio store vendors in San Francisco. My niece started a virtual cooking class from her home in New Jersey that our kids participated in. The highlight for me personally was when my wife & I joined a group of folks on Facebook Live to follow a Parisian baker – on Bastille Day – as she (and we) made corn brioche. As all this was occurring, I remained locked-down in our closet – literally! My days of travelling around the U.S. for work had stopped, and our master bath closet was the only place I could work where I wouldn't disrupt my virtual schooling kids, or my physician wife (who was now big into telemed in the home office). I realized the power of the Internet when I posted a picture on LinkedIn of working from my closet (using our ironing table as a desk and my sock drawer as my laptop area) which elicited over 10,000 views. Plato famously stated that “Necessity is the mother of invention” – and since we had to stay indoors, we worked to dramatically reinvent ourselves – with technology. From virtual exercising to arts & culture to global experiences to working from the closet – the pandemic for us has led to a greater familial happiness and togetherness that we didn't have pre-COVID. To underline this, our daughter told us her birthday (in Apr 2020) was the “best birthday ever”. How did we accomplish this, you ask, in the midst of a global pandemic and pre-vaccine availability? With technology! Sure, my wife & I had decorated the house – but we also coordinated 3 Zoom meetings with family, that totaled nearly 200 attendees from 5 countries. She also spent her birthday on rotating FaceTime/Houseparty calls with a series of friends, getting 1:1 time with each. So much has been written about the negative impacts of technology (especially over the past 12-18 months) – but as you can see from our family's experiences, there are a myriad of ways that technology can bring happiness, even in such an uncertain time.
My first reaction to the pandemic on March 12, 2020--after securing toilet paper and hand sanitizer--was to help my family and the nonprofits I was working with weather the storm. “It's only for two weeks,” everyone said. “It's going to be so much longer than that,” I said. “And, the effects will last for years.” Turns out, the pandemic itself was going to last for years. By nature, I'm a planner. I like to have a strategy. Even if crazy things happen, if you have a plan, you can pivot. The early days of the pandemic drove me to my computer. I made lists. I'm a big list-maker. I already had a solid plan in place for the nonprofits before the pandemic hit, so I wasn't worried about that. If they stayed the course and remained proactive, they would be fine. Becoming reactive would have been a disaster. At home, my parents had recently moved in with me after selling their house. They have never been worriers or list makers or planners. While my kitchen pantry upstairs was prepped with at least two weeks of food that we could survive on, theirs was bare. Up until COVID-19, my prepping was in anticipation of a blizzard or power outage, not a global pandemic. Did my parents have canned goods? No. They picked up fast food or did take out every day for nearly every meal. Did they have a supply of toilet paper and paper towels? No. Were they worried? No. I was. At my computer, I had lists of what we needed to do to get ahead of this crisis. I had never pre-ordered and picked up groceries before but in our new contactless world, it was heaven-sent. Of course, I went right to Amazon to order masks, gloves, disinfectant, and later, when I became really COVID-savvy, a digital, no contact thermometer and a pulse oximeter. And then, the world froze. No one was going in to work anymore. The stores were empty and the shelves were bare. I no longer had to think of excuses to get out of my over-committed weekends. Suddenly, there were no plans. I had everything I needed. My lovable dog, Toby, was by my side every day. I saw my masked niece and family in socially distanced gatherings from ten feet away in driveways and on decks. My friends and I Zoomed. My neighbors group texted and did porch drop-offs of freshly baked bread and goodies. I signed up for online yoga, painting classes, interesting virtual tours of fascinating places in the world, read books, cleaned my house, and watched YouTube videos on how to cut my own hair, which was not my best idea. I used to cherish days when I didn't have to drive to work, saving me sometimes two or more hours of commute time. I always wondered what I would do with extra time. Would I exercise and eat right? (The answer to that is a resounding “no”.) Writing has always been something I've enjoyed. Sometimes, if something bad happened in my life, I would imagine a story inspired by the true events. Only, I'd make it twisty. If someone was a jerk to me, well a character inspired by that person might find themselves killed off in the story, involved in a ridiculous crime, or on the receiving end of sweet karma. Or I would see something happen in real life--maybe a near-miss car accident, or someone buying a winning lottery ticket after they changed places in line, or a stray cat whose eyes told me that he had an interesting story--and I would imagine and wonder “what would happen if” and then I'd write a story about it. I never did anything with the stories and most times they went unfinished. Just the act of writing was therapeutic. I'd always said that if I had the time, I would write. Not just for work, but for fun. Write just for me. Suddenly, the pandemic gave me time--all the time in the world. I was out of excuses. So I started to write. I found a short story contest to enter. Normally, I'm a pretty competitive person. I like to win. But in this case, I was well aware that I was a novice. Knowing this was my first try, I didn't have my usual high expectations or hopes of winning. I was looking at it as a learning experience. I would see if there was any feedback--if they said, “Don't give up your day job” or “Nice effort, try again.” And then came the phone call. My story was chosen for publication in an anthology. It didn't win one of the cash prizes or earn a judges' award, but that was alright. I was going to be a published author! I know I will continue working in the nonprofit field because, after thirty years, it's part of who I am. But now, part of me is an author too. I have a plan. I can see myself, in my retirement years, sitting at my antique desk in front of a big window overlooking the ocean or a tranquil lake with a beautiful sunset in the distance writing--who knows maybe even finishing a book. But I'll be doing the thing I didn't know I could do until the world temporarily closed.
I can't remember the first time I experienced the cognitive dissonance of looking at my body and knowing logically it was mine yet feeling like it was a completely separate entity from my inner world, but I remember the first time I tried to talk about it with someone. I couldn't have been more than seven or eight. This was before the impending deaths of my father and grandfather, and my grandparents were driving me back home after a weekend spent staring at the opium weights they had purchased on a trip somewhere in South Asia. My gaze remained steady as I listened to my grandfather's stories about his time in a camp in WWII, his voice trembling as he vacillated between dark jokes and terrorized tears. My grandmother always said he never left. It was as sunny as always as we turned down the street in San Diego where I spent most of my childhood, claustrophobically so. I peered out the window at a plastic green lawn then down to my hands and thighs, a familiar dissociation overwhelming me as I flexed my tiny fingers, examining the peeling skin around nails I bit so short that they bled. My wrists were always bleeding too, along with the back of my knees and the tender skin around my chapped lips, symptoms of my eczema. Even with medical creams underneath layers of bandages, I still scratched while I slept, ripping myself open over and over. I wonder now if I was trying to penetrate this flesh in an attempt to find some connection to this mind underneath. I'm reading a book about trauma called The Body Keeps the Score. One scientific study found a correlation between autoimmune disorders and significant past traumatic events. These events set off a fight or flight response, and the body can overcompensate so greatly that it begins attacking itself. Eczema is an autoimmune disorder. My recollections of my childhood are shrouded, vague shapes, but mostly obscured. This memory in the car is one of the few I have. Maybe this can be attributed to it being a key exemplifying moment of the disconnection I always felt between both pieces of myself and between myself and others. As I gazed at my tiny thighs- how strange it was that they were so slight! Microscopic in the scope of this planet- I asked my grandparents if they too looked in the mirror and saw foreign beings staring back. I assumed it must be universal, and I wanted to understand why it happened and how to cope with it. My grandmother said she had no idea what I was talking about. I now understand that this fracture was made sometime during the course of my life and is not an intrinsic state, but it's still hard to fathom the idea that most people have never experienced this sensation. I don't remember a time where it wasn't always occurring to some extent at any given moment whether I'm thinking about it- naming it- or not. Even when I do not give it attention or words, it scuttles around in the background of my consciousness. I've found ways to alleviate some of the most distressing aspects of this reality. Tiny needles filled with ink have penetrated my skin, depicting visions congruent with my inner world, reminders that this body is mine. As they increase, so does the reassurance that I'm connected to these limbs. Still, there have been times when the chasm between here and there have felt deeper, even recently. Last spring I spent exactly seventy days alone. Towards the end of this period I was tormented by a delusion I knew to be intellectually impossible, yet some part of me still felt it was real, like experiencing fear while watching a horror movie. You know it isn't happening, but it doesn't stop the nightmares. It consisted of the idea that if I was to look in the mirror I would see nothing there. If I looked at my limbs, they'd disappear before my eyes. The only thing confirming my existence was the heaving inhalation and exhalation of the walls of my apartment. Weeks of words unspoken can make you wonder if you're real. What is the difference between me alive and me dead if there is no evidence that I'm still here besides my own perception? I've come to the conclusion that seeking this sort of reassurance that I'm real from others is futile. When I think of that moment in the car, I am most struck by how much more isolated I felt when there was no solidarity, even lonelier than the seventy days I spent alone. Now I'm trying to connect the veins that pump blood through my body to the veins where intangible, hidden, ancient parts of my being reside. Just as my body is mine and mine alone, so too are the chasms. I'm the only one who can navigate them. I'm hoping someday that this archeological dig through my consciousness that I've embarked on might make me feel present in this corporeal form. It hasn't happened yet, but I'm starting to become the understanding adult the seven year old inside me still aches for. This body might still feel like a complete stranger sometimes, but she doesn't.
3/8/20 Picked up by M at Bathgate train station, just a few past Edinburgh proper. We didn't have time to linger sadly- barely made our connection as it was. Hoping to have time to take a break from the communal living situ and get a ride back to the station for a weekend in the city. I'm speaking for J here mainly as I think I'll be just fine in the caravan learning about herbs from a witch/forager/herbalist, her Hungarian ex husband the distiller and her current boyfriend the mushroom grower.Vibe on the train: tense. 3/11/20 ½ of the people who signed up for the foraging walk didn't show. No rain, sunny, not too windy. Perfect The water was cold and there was a crack in my borrowed wellies (meant to buy a pair in London) so the north sea trickled in, soaking my only pair of wool socks. Which is a shame - I need them at night as the caravan has a few leaks of its own. The people who did show up were eager learners and knew many plants we found along the walk to the sea. Afterwards we stopped at a cafe for a warm lunch and I tried to dry my sock under the hand dryer in the bathroom. 3/19/20 Woke to the sound of the side of the van being pelted with rocks and the urge to pee. We were up late as M set up the projector and went through a lecture she gave on lichen, and we drank homemade elderflower wine in large glasses. The cat stared at us through the window while we put on our boots and said goodnight, demanding food or attention or both, not sure which, and even as a professional house sitter, I'm afraid to get it wrong with this one. I'm writing this by headlamp at the business end of the caravan. J was her usual thoughtful and foresightful self and procured a makeshift bedpan from the main house. 3/21/20 The door to the caravan iced over from horizontal rain. I climbed out the window to chip around the lock to get J out. I emptied the bedpan, washed up and made coffee for everybody although the house is dead quiet. The ancient cat is up with me so I feed her wet food and crack the surface of her water bowl. We head to the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Garden for a class called “Seaweedopedia”. The woman who runs the events tells us about the washing protocol in a tiny voice. Every dish has to be washed before use, even if it's in the drying rack. The tables and chairs need to be sprayed and wiped. The class goes without a hitch and I feel like a seaweed expert already. It starts to rain as I'm packing up the van. I watch M's concerned face as the tiny woman whispers up to her. Once on the highway M tells me that we just participated in the last class at the Royal Botanical until further notice. 3/26/20 We watch panic buying videos and go to Ikea to stock up on coffee. The parking lot is lined with myrtle berries, so we fill up a bag. We plant dozens of seeds in tiny pots that sit under glass on M's office window sill, and clear the polytunnels. The hungarian delights in reading American news to us at breakfast, showing us videos of stupid politicians saying stupid things. They read numbers to us while we clean up. The government tells us we can't go anywhere, can't see anybody. We find that the wifi reaches the caravan, and we spend more time there working and reading from the pile of foraging books M pulled for me from her huge library. Books about mushrooms and antibiotics and ecology and how to read water. At night the projector comes out and with it the elderflower wine to accompany the lectures on mushrooms and how to identify hemlock. 4/17/20 Friday night movie night saves me. The plants save me. I talk to them like I read about in Braiding Sweetgrass. They tell me if they want to be picked. I can feel their roots relax as I pull. I pick stinging nettle with my bare hands. I drink too much. We made gin and I learned only that I enjoy the tasting part. We weigh our options going forward. No flights out, visa expiring in 1 month. We can't go back as there is nothing to go back to. I dream of slipping off tightropes and getting tangled by the neck. Our seedlings didn't take in the polytunnel and those that do, the mice eat. We bait them with peanut butter. They die of fright and we feed them to the pregnant ferret. Everything is food for something. 5/9/20 Our housesits fall through as the borders refuse to open. The birds are the only things we see in the sky. I collect pine pollen and look for fairy circles in the fields. Our bonfire was seen from space if anybody was watching. We leap over the embers in an ancient ritual symbolizing forgotten rituals. We burn back what was. Smoke obscures what we will be. We argue about the way forward, eyes burning, tears streaming. We teeter and totter over apartments in Tbilisi or housesits in Mexico. Visa extension rejected. 5/21/20 EU borders closed to Americans. Turkey will take us. The flight there feels like the check before mate. Like the first and last flight we'll ever take. Like we are learning to be at home in the world.
There is a little corridor one has to walk through before facing the four walls that encircle my room. Inside, there are three curtain less windows that do not let me sleep past eight. The tiles on my floor resemble wood, and the wall underneath my desk has black marks on it. My room became my bunker during the pandemic. Everything I needed to survive was in there. I did not have to leave if I did not want to. I could not leave if I wanted to. When school started, I made an effort to prepare my desk for the laborious work that Junior year harbored. I made a sign for my lamp that read "home desk" on one side and "school desk" on the other (something I had heard students should do from a "how to study video on youtube). I made a book stand for my computer and cut a string that would separate my bed from my desk (so I would not be tempted to cross over.) Then, the real struggle began. It was not that I lacked motivation for school. On the contrary, motivation, which, in some ways, became a bit too stubborn, was ever-present. Instead, it was the feeling of falling into a hole, a cocoon of unreality. Every day, at 2:30, I logged off my last class and gulped down a strong black coffee. Homework and studying stretched to 11:30. Then, I woke up at 6:30 and repeated everything. For six months, I was consumed with five APs, an intense religion teacher (who made us write essays on papal encyclicals every other week), studying for the SAT, and pre-college essays. Everything happened in those four white walls.. Although my body slacked with emptiness, my mind sometimes managed to escape for a couple of hours into the lessons of Physics or US History. When it landed back to the present, my mind found my legs contorted in odd shapes, my neck sore from reading, and my eyes dry as paper. Every day I breathed in what seemed to be depleting oxygen But I kept going. My room, once quaint and lively, became a suffocating vacuum. When I went outside, my eyes strained to adjust to the light, and I grew anxious at the unfinished homework lying open in my desk. Week after week, it seemed like I was flying with school but going nowhere in the real world. In my room, silence became sound. Mute, I was stuck in my stiff purple chair, staring at empty-eyed classmates through screens. Around the end of the third quarter, the lack of sunshine made me feel like I was decomposing. Things were opening again, yet I had to keep up with school. That was the only thing that had gone right, and I had to see it through. I was sleep-deprived, and my black coffee now tasted like water. That did not matter to me. I kept going. The SATs came and left. Then came AP tests and my sister's graduation. I dreaded going back to my room after coming back from testing. I disliked sitting at my desk for more than an hour. I wanted to regain the six months of high school that had passed by. It reached the point where I felt out of place in my room. My thoughts wandered to ideas of walking school halls, laughing about whatever nonsense teenagers laugh about with friends. But those thoughts stayed thoughts. I remained surrounded by four white walls. Then, alas, summer began. The shadows of senior year and college were whispered through emails as I closed my computer screen and prayed that next year would be different. Though my junior year was less than ordinary, I am incredibly thankful that I could continue my education and stay on track. I doubt that if we had been in person, I would have been able to accomplish what I did. At home, I had more time for everything. Even though my mental state was robotic and I felt trapped, there is no denying that all my studying paid off. The question that I now pose myself is how to accomplish the same feats while not turning into a coffee churning machine. I want to keep doing well in school, but I also want to create memories that do not end with closing textbooks or turning assignments in. What makes me feel better about the whole ordeal is that when I talk to friends about the past year, they all mention the pandemic. It is as though we have unconsciously bonded over the baggage we carry from the last year. Covid impacted everyone's life. Learning how others coped with their hardships and helping them through their struggles has helped me move away from the encroaching four walls of my bedroom and into the world. As summer comes to a close and high school opens its doors to me one last year, I wish for the balance that Junior year lacked and the good grades that it flowed with.
It was the name of our group chat: Senior Year Rejects. A fitting image of eleven-year-old Daniel Radcliffe headlined our messages. I explained to my mother, “get it, senior year rejects because we are seniors but not really?” My smile was wide and toothy, but tears threatened against my eyes for reasons I did not care to think about. I was on a mission. Cruising at 5 above the speed limit I turned onto the highway. The windows were down just enough to feel the breeze on my head. A large bubble tea sat next to me, and each time my hand reached it fumbled around before bringing the straw to my mouth. It was Oregon-warm. Warm enough for a t-shirt and cool enough that my grandmother would complain incessantly. I bumped the music up a few notches - goddamn. A laugh bubbled up inside of me and I let it pour out. It covered my music, and my drink, and filled the whole car, spilling into the Oregon-warm air outside my window. My journal from the summer of 2020 recalls that I spent most of my time “waiting for dinner." It was dark, too late to be in a public park, but we were far from done. We had gotten our second doses, my senior rejects and I, and we would be damned if we went home by curfew. We passed around to-go containers, chopsticks, and gossip. We took pictures with the flash. I commented on my dislike for the way my nose scrunched up when I smiled. They told me it was cute. We gave each other hugs. Life has just stopped, and it's jarring. I wake up and walk three steps to go to class and walk three steps back to my bed for the break. I haven't seen my friends for a month and I'm fairly sure they hate me. I was home alone. For the first time in months. I had already cleaned up from dinner and decided to scroll through Spotify's Taylor Swift dance party playlists. Selecting one, I put my phone in my pocket, speaker-side up, and scooped up my dog. I jumped onto our bench, singing, and swaying, and looking out the window. 'I hate your stupid red pickup truck…' My head was nodding and my finger pointing and my feet tapping. I bounced my way from the dining room to the kitchen to the living room and back again. Feeling weightless as the song wore on, I could not help the smile that began to stretch across my face. It was dark outside. I could only see the streetlights beyond the windows. It was me, and my puppy, and we were the only creatures on the planet. I've been wearing the same pajamas for a week and I've started taking classes in my bed. It's been two weeks since I saw anyone besides my family. I always loved dystopian novels. Now that's what life feels like except it's not exciting. Instead, it's scary and frustrating, and lonely. All of this makes me feel so much older than I am. I feel like a different person than I was at school. Sometimes I go to sleep at 8:30 because I am sick of being awake. Boredom is an actively overwhelming emotion. The heat from the stove was stifling the kitchen. Yet, I had to wait for the water to boil before the dumplings could go in. Though the first (and maybe second and third) attempt at these soup dumplings resulted in more tears than I care to admit, I had finally gotten the hang of it. And the amount of tears was almost zero. The kitchen was hot, but the window was open, drawing in a hot breeze and the smell of flowers, grass, and summer. Combined with the garlic and ginger now encased in homemade dumpling dough, the intoxicating smell permeated the whole house. I was in my element. I had designated the kitchen as mine since the morning. The music kept my mood light, and the prospect of dumplings in just a few minutes had me jumping in my skin. I love to watch my family eat my cooking. Their first bite and then the immediate smile and praise they turn to me. Even my brother who'd tell me (and has told me) if my meal was not up to par. I wait for their words of approval before sipping the broth from my dumpling, humming with happiness at the soft, rich flavor. When I was little I would save all my money. I was cheap from the get-go, as I like to say. Though honestly, despite my hate for school dances, I had my heart set on a stunning prom dress. So I saved and I saved and I saved. And then school got canceled before prom my junior year and I thought at least I have senior prom. Well, I don't think I have to tell you how that turned out. We were in Bend. Post-vaccination, summer after senior year, and it was Oregon-hot. Despite the temperatures being 85 and climbing, my two best friends and I decided to hike a ridge in Sisters. The sweat trickled down my back, and the heat made my legs ache, but the twenty questions kept my going. Step after dusty step, we scrambled up the rocks and dirt until we came to the top of the hill. Serene. The only word to describe it. The lake far below us was far too inviting, and we could see well over the treetops. We were silent. We stood far apart. There was no awkwardness. I think we were just thankful.
Introduction The corona virus has influenced everyone, and this is the story of how I took on the virus head on and won. I am an essential grocery store worker, and I have been working just about everyday since the pandemic bean. People must eat to survive and keep the economy going so I must constantly work. This is the full story of how I conquered my fear of death and the corona virus. The Miracle That Saved My Life By the Grace of God, a miracle has changed my life from certain death, to a life of victory and courage. Some truly miraculous stories have emerged from the pandemic, and this is my story. I am a cashier at the Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania Price Chopper Supermarket and I am living through a miracle at the store. When the pandemic hit in March 2020. our sales volume and my work hours skyrocketed. As a senior citizen, I was sure the pandemic would kill me as hundreds of customers were breathing on me and in the beginning, there were no masks or protection. It is a miracle that after all this time, I have not been infected with the corona virus, and my teammates and customers are experiencing the same miracle. Only one of my teammates got the corona virus and he got it at home from his family. I do not believe any of our thousands of customers got the virus at the store. We have experienced maximum exposure and risk and yet miraculously no one has been infected with the corona virus while in the store! Price Chopper never closed up and we never had an outbreak or even a single store relate infection! Essential Workers Grocery store workers were classified as essential workers during the pandemic. The U. S. Department of Homeland Security categorized the protection and continued operation of the food and agricultural industry and related transportation activities as "Critical Infrastructure" under the COVID-19 emergence conditions. In the President's Corona Virus Guidelines for America, the White House emphasizes that food industry sector workers should continue to work and stated: "If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule." Price Chopper provided a letter so I could travel during the economic shut down. The letter stated that I work in the supermarket industry and must travel to and from work, regardless of the time of day. It is essential to the nation's food supply that I be permitted to travel to and from my job and be exempt from local restrictions, such as shelter-in-place orders, when reporting to, returning from, or performing any of my work functions. My Decision To Keep Working As a senior citizen I could have refused to work because of the obvious health risks. I decided to keep working, and I learned to overcome my fear of death during the Corona Virus Pandemic. When the pandemic hit, I came face to face with my fear of death, and I had some important decisions to make. I trust in Jesus Christ for my Salvation, so it was logical that I would keep working. In the beginning, it was very dangerous, as there were no protections and hundreds of customers were breathing on me. I was sure that I would get the virus and it would kill me. The supermarket I work for was determined to serve its customers and community. I shared my employers objectives and decided to continue working on the Front Lines. It was the right decision, as I have not been infected with the virus and none of my teammates or customers got the virus at the store! While so many institutions have suffered through outbreaks of the pandemic, we have not. As a senior citizen, I believe I should take the risks before my younger teammates, those with health issues or children, and those who are victims of discrimination. Moreover, I wanted to serve my customers, and I was willing to die for a legacy and a testimony of serving my customers, the people I love. I was really surprised that when I made this decision, I was free from my natural fear of death and willing to accept the consequences of my decision. I am taking the same risks even today. Cautious But Not Fearful I am amazed at my teammates courage in facing the pandemic, as they proceed cautiously but without fear. My teammates continued commitment to safety guidelines is the best defense against the corona virus. Conclusion A miracle is a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency. There is no scientific explanation for Price Chopper's success while staying open for business during the pandemic. The store served its customers and community, and by the Grace Of God, its teammates were given the miracle of good health while working in dangerous circumstances environment. For the latest on fighting COVID 19, please watch the following video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1I_cCsaomU