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Friday, January 22, 2021

A COVID ANNIVERSARY, BUT WITH NO CAUSE TO CELEBRATE – JOSH (THOMAS1 BELLIC) REPORTING




Almost a year ago, we asked Select SL Residents to share their thoughts about the newest worldwide pandemic – COVID 19. This “pandemic thing” had been around for over a month already…and it was proving to be quite an inconvenience.   Many believed however, that in a matter of weeks – certainly by the summer of 2020 – it would be contained and we could go about our lives. 
(see http://www.slenquirer.com/2020/04/covid-19-real-world-virus-impacts.html)

And here we are…almost a year later…still battling the virus, with a vaccine that as been slow to deploy, to a world where many people have been slow to accept it.
The original story queried eleven people from around the world, asking them to share some thoughts on COVID and the impact it was having on their lives.   As we approach the first anniversary, we decided to contact as many of those original respondents as possible and see if their impressions had changed due to life live in a COVID-infected world.  Where we could not locate the original respondents, we found others who graciously agreed to answer our questions. 


This year’s answers come from:
Robb Larkham– Arizona, USA
Amanda Emerson– Norway
Reagan DiStefano– Texas, USA
Rose Krimau– Catalan, Spain
Gemma (gemmarossa) - Italy
Sexy Olga – North Cyprus
Melissa (Melissa212212) - Chile
Lisisme Dubrovna – Canada




 
Josh Bellic (JB):  How have you been affected by the COVID-19 Virus?
 
Reagan:  I work for a Geriatrics Doctor.  By now, the majority of the staff have had COVID, or have had the vaccine. Luckily, none of us were hospitalized. 
 
Robb:  As an older educator COVID-19 has had a very direct impact on my life because of transforming the nature of teaching, now totally online through the Zoom platform and changing the dynamics of the relationships with students. It has also required acute attention of the inequalities of educational resources, i.e. ability to find stable connections to allow students to attend class, and dealing with the stresses that they encounter in trying to navigate the school/life dynamic.
 
Rose: COVID has had a significant impact on me and my family, since several of us have actually been infected by the virus to different degrees.  Additionally, we have had to deal with varying degrees of lockdown and partial lockdown.
 
Amanda:  I am doing a lot less traveling, and having no social contact with friends or family. And we have to wear masks when out in public which I never thought was going to happen here.
 
Sexy:  My business is renting Vacation Homes. Since the onset of COVID, my business has been virtually closed. People are not traveling as much as they normally do, so my business is suffering.
 
Gemma:  I’m not affected directly by the virus, but rather but from its consequences.  I have had less contacts with other people for a year now.  Also, my work has changed a lot because my boss decided to change our work schedule.  We now work in two shifts instead of one, which cuts in half the number of people working in the same space at one time.
 
Melissa:  My life has been affected mainly because there's no school.  I have been my son’s teacher and it has been difficult for both of us. The other aspect of my life that has been affected is traveling.  We love to travel but we couldn't during 2020.

Lis: A better question is "How haven't I been affected?" Lol.  An AirBRB and all my investment in it, has gone down the drain. The tires on my car went flat from sitting in the garage for a year with no place to go on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. I haven't seen family in over a year. I got what might have been a mild case of COVID but was more afraid of being put on a quarantine list than seeking help. I wanted to get back to my home in Rome but feared the outbreaks there. Travel restrictions were awful - when I finally recently went back, I had to wear a mask for 24 straight hours during that trip.
 



(JB)  Are you staying at home? 
 
Rose: No..I am not having to stay at home. So far I'm still going to work but I am able to do part of my work things at home and online.
 
Amanda:  Yes, but I am still able to do my work from home.
 
Gemma:  Yes, I have not moved from my home since February of 2020 except to go to work.  I have stopped all my social activity and only leave to buy food or other needed items.
 
Melissa:  Yes, I have been at home since March 2020. T that's a long time!

Lis:  Mostly!  Which is not a sacrifice for me because I am my own best company lol.

(JB)  What do you do to keep busy?
 
Reagan: I was sick the three weeks leading up to Christmas so when I felt decent, I would order presents online. Now that I'm feeling better, I have organized several rooms in my home in RL. I have also spent more time in SL. I do spend much more time with my family now. But let me just say, I was somewhat happy to be going back into the office to work. We were getting on each other's nerves. lol
 
Robb:  I succumbed to the allure and ease of buying online! Establishing Zoom groups with old friends and relatives, and go for runs and walks, as well as rediscovering playing Bocce--in a safe socially distanced manner!
 
Amanda:   What can I say? Work , work, work!
 
Sexy:  I still manage to keep pretty busy. I am often doing housework.  I enjoy gardening, and I also enjoy doing photography.
 
Gemma:  I have my work... For the first three months, I worked from home into the "smart-working" and after those 3 months, we went back to work maintaining social distancing and face masks all day..
 
Melissa:  Happily, I like handcrafts so I have been knitting a lot, mainly crochet. I have seen several series on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney.  Thank God for them! They really do help fill the time.

Lis:  I have a graphics company so I can work from home. I do web cam and Zoom to catch up with people. I enjoy tweaking my sims at the Grand Canyon in SL




 

 
(JB) When I asked if there was an upside to these conditions and staying home, half the respondents answered with a resounding NO!
Other folks were a bit more reflective.

 
Reagan:  While I was home, I was much more productive work wise.  I was able to log on and finish projects in the evening if I didn't have anything else to do.
I find that I cook more.  When I had COVID I lost a few pounds so now I’m eating healthier than I did before and continuing to lose weight.   I am much more aware of keeping distance, washing hands, and wearing a face mask. LOL Who would have ever thought that we would actually shop for face mask, or choose your mask to compliment your outfit for the day!?!
 
Amanda:  Upside is that its proven once and for all that working from a home office doesn’t have to have a negative effect on work quality.
 
 
(JB) Has COVID-19 affected your time in SL? Has it changed the time you spend here?
 
Reagan:  While I i was working from home, I did spend an hour or two in SL during the day that I wouldn't have had I been in the office. But my life is back to normal for the most part, so I am back to my normal routine.  I now spend no more time in SL than usual.
 
Robb:  SL becomes a safe harbor to connect with different communities and engage in all the things we do here!
Rose:  I don't think the way I spend my time has changed. Maybe I it gives me a chance to be online more.  Maybe I could be spending a bit more time online when we were at home but not a huge difference.
 
Amanda:  I`m more online but most of the time I am still working, just on a different laptop when I am home.
 
Sexy:  Not really.  I think I am spending about the same amount of time in SL as I did before the Pandemic.
 
Gemma:  Depending on my working hours I could stay a bit more connected since I didn’t have anything else to do (especially in the winter).  Maybe things will change in the next spring...
 
 

 



So, there you have it, folks.  A Crisis for some, or an Opportunity for others.  Let’s hope and pray that next year at this time we can look back on COVID as something fading into the distant past, and not as a still-current reality.  In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy.
JB








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