This week residents in two states, some of whom are retirees, teachers, working parents, and students, were asked how this temporary shutdown of normal life is affecting them. The consensus is that life as we know it is quite different.
In recent weeks, life in America and most of the world has undergone a dramatic transformation. As we embrace this new and hopefully temporary normal way of life, many Americans are feeling the effects.
How has the spread of Covid-19 turned life upside down? I had the opportunity to speak with a 70-year-old woman retiree and part-time money manager at a major retailer in Charleston, South Carolina. She lives with her son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons, who were exposed to Covid-19 during a school event prior to the shutdown of South Carolina schools.
“We are practicing social distancing at home, due to my pre-existing health problems,” said Rosemarie Zimmerman, the retiree. “This has been especially hard on my grandsons. They don’t understand that even a hug is not a good idea right now. It makes me really sad that it has to be this way.”
After speaking with a few local Frederick County residents, the feeling of uncertainty and frustration regarding education was prevalent.
A Maryland special education teacher voiced her concern regarding changes to online school and special education. “I have one child who has autism, and I teach a class with many children with special needs,” the teacher said. “My concern is, how are we supposed to fulfill the needs and all aspects of special education via online learning? What will happen to services needed such as, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other critical services needed for the child’s academic success?”
A Frederick County mother of a toddler and preschooler, who also is a student at UMBC, explained “My life has changed dramatically; I now have four online classes while trying to run a household and keep two children under 5 occupied and happy,” said Luciana T. “It has been very challenging trying to find a quiet place to study and meet deadlines. I have two very active children who never stop moving!”