Thinking back to 2019 pre-covid makes me overwhelmingly sad. It was a very fun time being able to do what I wanted when I wanted. I would go out with friends and family, and visit with them without feeling a weird guilt that I was putting others at risk. At this point I was a year out of high school still working at my first crummy job that I started while I was in high school. It was a simple time yet stressful because of the job I had.
Working During Covid-19
Working during Covid-19 isn’t anything special or fun. I worked in a cell phone store so I was considered an essential worker because we provided cell service for our customers. It was so awful working at a store front during a pandemic. At first it was like nothing, some people wore masks and some didn't. I wasn’t required to wear a mask for most of the time because I had put a clear plastic sheet that blocked nearly all openings beside a little book sized hole to pass devices back and forth. By April of 2020, Masks were everywhere. The CDC recommended it. It seemed like hope was lost when it came time to go out and have dinner or watch a movie in the theaters. I wasn’t really scared about the coronavirus, but I did know that I needed to do my part to help stop the spread. So I started cleaning every surface in the store. I started to separate people and only allow one person in at a time. Even though people could get angry, I was thinking about all my other customers and my family with their health. Every device, every accessory, every payment method, I would try my best to deeply clean. Cell phones are one of the filthiest things on your person. Think about where you put your phone, who uses it, how many times you dropped in the dirt all these things could make you and your loved ones sick so that's why I always tried my best to clean and sanitize as much as possible.
The stress that came with Covid-19 was horrendous. Making sure everything is sanitized for the next customer, while still taking care of the things the job required of me normally. Most of the customers would simply comply and use some kind of face covering, ultimately making it easier on me. Others would think I’m taking their rights away or discriminating against them by not allowing a person in the store without a face covering. Even though I was just trying to help and keep everyone safe, people would still get mad. With all that added stress and the same pre-covid pay, I decided to quit and find a new job, in which I found great success.
Personal Life During Covid-19
My personal life has changed indefinitely. It didn't feel any different in the beginning because so many didn't think it was a big deal. At this time only a few places would make you social distance or wear a mask, most were running as normal. As the pandemic progressed and infected more and more people everyday, the government started to step in and put in mandates to wear masks and to social distance. The threat of the virus with social media multiplying people's fear—the scare of the pandemic—set in and everyone panicked. Shelves at major outlets were empty of essential supplies like over-the-counter medication, food, and toiletries. It got out of hand and producers still struggle to keep things in stores.
It has been a few months since the first case in my town and since then I’ve tried my best to not go out of town but then my wisdom teeth started to protrude and hurt very bad. I went to my local dentist and he gave me some good and bad news. The bad news was that I had to get teeth extracted but the good news was that only three needed to come out, not all four. His office then referred me to a dentist out of town that has the capabilities and resources to do the surgery.
Here we go, masked up, the first time going out of town during the pandemic, it was very weird. There was very little traffic and that was awesome. Most non-essential stores were closed so we couldn't really do anything other than go to my appointment. It was just an overview appointment so the dentist could make a plan for the upcoming surgery. They gave me my surgery date and I went home thinking it will all be over within the next couple of weeks but I was wrong. The office out of town called the day before my appointment and said that the office is closed and that there are no surgeries happening until the cases of Covid-19 slow down. I had to wait in pain to get in and have the extraction surgery. It was a horrible experience meant to last maybe a month but due to Covid-19, it was stretched out for more than six months.
By the time I healed most of the businesses were open but with strict social distancing rules. I decided to go out and get a burger after not eating real food for a month and it was very easy not to have contact with the workers. One thing I did experience was some people still think there is no real danger so are, therefore, not wearing a mask. I have seen it online and in person, people being denied entry when they don't have their face covered. I hate wearing masks so I try my best to not go anywhere but when I do need to, I will suck it up for the fifteen minutes of shopping just in case, so I don’t bring it home to my family. It’s not about just yourself, we need to think of everyone else, most importantly the elderly and very young.
Vaccine, is it the end of the pandemic?
The vaccine was administered in late 2020 on December 14th across the country. Healthcare workers and the elderly among the first to receive the vaccine. The very first U.S. person to get the injection of vaccine out of clinical trials was Sandra Linsay, it was done at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. It was the first shot but a leap towards kicking Covid-19 to the curb and left in the dust.
The initial total amount of doses was 2.9 million.
Seems like a lot but when you think of how there is an average of more than two hundred thousand new cases and nearly twenty five hundred deaths daily, it's just the tip of the iceberg of protecting the world's population.
Going from finally having the freedom of doing whatever I want to only going to work and back home with the occasional grocery store trip has been a very big let down for me during my twenties. I thought my twenties were gonna be filled with travel and growing my view on the world. It has brought out an overbearing feeling of being alone and depressed. Although vaccines are being distributed swiftly as possible, we have a long way to go to get to normal life. Despite what is happening in our world, I will continue to push forward and try to make the best of what I have, taking back control of my twenties!
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