We are living in a historic moment. The Minnesota Historical Society is collecting and preserving Minnesotans’ stories related to the COVID-19 health crisis so future generations can learn how the pandemic has impacted our lives. We invite you to read a sampling of these stories here and to share your story.
My heart hurt to think of children being denied their favorite slide
COVID-19 health crisis has greatly impacted my work. Beginning March 16th, we were told to stay home and work, however possible, remotely. I worked hard on creating a project for others so that they could work from home. After 9 weeks of doing plenty of work, attending many virtual meetings and webinars, and attempting creative ways to stay concentrated and positive I will be placed on temporary furlough for 6 weeks, at the least. This is simply the reality that a safe and distanced world means a very tough financial loss for many businesses, big and small.
COVID-19 health crisis affects us all in our personal lives. I made a move from living alone in St. Paul to living with my boyfriend and his children in Mankato when I started working from home. It went smoothly but with plenty of worries and caution, and while moving always comes with normal adjustments to the furniture and living together, this came with a heavier realization of a new way of living in general. I am continually grateful for my experiences and acknowledge my privilege in that we do not lack essentials, we have substantial internet connection, we will be okay during my furlough, we have been able to get safe outdoors time, and we do not know anyone personally yet that has been sick. Yet we have our moments of pessimism, of missing our families and friends, of sadness for trips cancelled, and of mourning that going back to normal or close to the old normal is a long way off.
There are constant reminders of this grief, this loss of what was once normal, even in the happiest of moments. That is why I took the picture I did of the playground. It was one of our almost-daily afternoon walks through Skyline (town adjacent to our place in Mankato). It was gorgeously sunny and we were either chatting away about fun and pointless things or our next grocery list, then I noticed the caution tape around the playground equipment. It had appeared overnight and the first thought was a natural "oh no, what happened?" then a "are they doing construction?" and finally a "oh, we live in a social distancing world and, of course, how are you going to disinfect and share playground equipment safely with an unknown number of families." My heart hurt to think of children being denied their favorite slide and then my heart hurt more thinking of those that could already be infected or were going to be infected or how many more if their community did not try to encourage everyone to be safe.
~ Caucasian female in early 30s, generally of the Twin Cities now living in Mankato