Portraits of the 2020 pandemic: part four

By Chloe Nott

Everyone has a story. And everyone can have an impact. The only way to get through this is by working together and doing our part to help each other out. 

Here is part four of our collection of stories from people just like you. Here we tell what it’s like for them to stay at home, get groceries and worry about friends and family.

Victoria Blair Celeste

Victoria Blair Celeste- Lake Placid, NY

How has COVID-19 affected you? Both your work life and day to day living.

My business is closed. It is not considered essential. I haven’t ordered summer stock because of all the unknowns. I am worried if my business can survive this. I am trying to transition to make the business online. 

My husband is a computer software engineer. He travels to large companies all over the US. Before the pandemic he was working for an airline in Texas. He has not traveled and has been working from home. On the positive side we are all home making the best of the situation. 

Our youngest daughter is a senior in high school. All classes and school work is being done online. She has been very busy working on her school work. She is very sad the prom was canceled and graduation may also be canceled. She is disappointed that her last year of high  school has been interrupted. 

We had a family trip canceled because of the virus. We were supposed to be in Florida from April 5 to April 15. 

What have you been doing while in isolation?

I have been working around my house doing domestic things. Cleaning and cooking. I have started seedlings for a garden. I also try to work on projects related to my store. I sew and have been making masks as well. I have used Zoom to take yoga classes and have some business meetings. I go for walks. Occasionally I walk with a friend using social distancing. 

Have you had any difficulty getting essentials such as groceries?

I have not had  much difficulty getting supplies. There are items like hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, thermometers that are in very short supply and those shelves seem to remain empty. 

There was a shortage of toilet paper and groceries the first week, but it was resolved quickly and most stores seem to stay stocked. At this time we still can go into grocery stores to shop, but there has been some talk about changing that.

Aaron Cook

Aaron Cook- Plattsburgh, NY

How has COVID-19 affected you? Both your work life and day to day living.

It has impacted me in many many ways. My work life was brought to a sudden halt March 14 when the ski area shut down. We were in the middle of a college national event. Sunday they closed. I have been out of work since they shut the mountain down. Everyday life has also changed as I have moved locations kind of as well. 

It has definitely affected my routine. At first I woke up to listen to the governor of New York state speak as he seemed to have the leadership down. Also I watched a few White House briefings and became very confused about the seriousness, what was happening with work everyday seemed vastly different then the previous. I have been mostly working on my mandolin, guitar and video game skills.

I see my son through my parents so visiting him has also changed in the sense I get to help be his teacher and help with online school work. This is mostly kindergarten work but teaching him to learn to read which is great to have that experience but also feel bad he is missing out on socializing and learning those skills. Much has changed in daily life. All our gigs were cancelled. We were supposed to go to Nashville, had a gig booked and everything.

Have you had any difficulty getting essentials such as groceries?

Oh the great toilet paper rush was pretty wild it did take me a few stores before I did find toilet paper and I started to prepare and get ready before so I got groceries before all the stores were gone. Today there are a few things that we have a hard time finding one being my son’s chicken nugget brand. Haha. He is adapting and shelves are a little more bare than normal. Certain popular American foods like Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese, pasta, flour, and sugar are also in that category.

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