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Survey reveals variety of takes on the coronavirus shutdown


Last updated 4/8/2020 at 9:15am

The coronavirus has affected work life and home life in the Coulee in multiple ways, an online Star survey reveals, with lots of stress for some but some silver linings for others.

Asked if they are working from home because of social restrictions, 17 out of 37 of those who responded said they are, with some loving the home office and others not.

Slow internet speed is listed as an issue, as well as boredom, but several respondents said the experience was positive.

Responses included:

• Not as productive working from home.

• Difficult to focus on work activities.

• Love it!

• Got a little cabin fever yesterday but doing good.

One person spoke about meetings being held remotely, and referenced the Zoom application that allows holding a meeting on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

“I like to attend face-to-face meetings,” that person said. “Those don’t exist anymore. Though, have to say Zoom meetings are rather convenient.”

Half, 19 out of 38 respondents, said they have school-age children. Their experiences with having their kids home vary greatly.

Asked if they were facing unique challenges, responses included:

• As parents on the medical front line in this crisis, it has added a lot of stress to our children and family during this unprecedented time. Honestly I am loving being able to spend more time with them.

• We are fortunate to live in the country so they had been fishing, riding dirt bikes, and hiking.

• They have abundant energy or they are hiding out with technology.

• Thankfully I have a great family and plenty of life skills to be taught!

• Relaxed a little on screen time. Now with nicer weather, encourage outdoor time. Childcare at coulee kids is still great, though not as many children are there so kids aren’t as excited to go.

• She had been baking and we played games that helped with her math, spelling and money.

• I have to take my child to work with me.

• Have an amazing babysitter who is making it so I can work, and they can have fun. Spending 1-2 hours a day on work books which they don’t mind.

Asked how the coronavirus has affected their lives, shopping was listed as a top concern.

“Having difficulty purchasing normal everyday products due to the panic stockpiling. Noticing more non-locals panic buying at our grocery stores,” one respondent wrote.

One person described trips to the store as “challenging and scary.”

Work and money were other common topics, painting a dark picture with responses including:

• Work has been way more stressful.

• My salon is completely shut down. 0 income for 3 people. I hope we still have a clientele when we are allowed to open.

• It has greatly impacted the business where I work.

• Our store had to close its sales department, which led to layoffs.

• Working one week in the office one week at home.

• Overnight we went down to a 1 income family

Other aspects of life were said to be affected, such as social activities — for example not being able to visit friends or family, not having high school baseball, church service going online, and more.

• Our vacation was cancelled, airline tickets NOT REFUNDED! Can’t go to work!

• Can’t go to restaurants. Store shelves empty of some basics.

• I’ve had to cancel non-emergency appointments and the start date to my seasonal job has been delayed.

• Disrupted routines, trips and plans. Decreased social interactions and participation in sports, group activities. It has also made us even more grateful for our family, friends and blessings we have in our lives.

• I’ve been in the house for almost two weeks.

• My calendar is empty for once.

• Trying to convince others to stay home is a big challenge. As I watch people come and go all day at the neighbors house.

• Social activity zero

• We cut our vacation short & came home early.

• Gatherings with friends and family are a frequent thing in our family so that’s been tough. Am thankful for technology!

• I had surgery and sit around and play video games all day so I’m a hero!

• It makes me feel like I’m living in a fever dream. It’s very surreal.

Asked what they’ve learned from the experience, responses varied from the political, the domestic, to the scientific, including:

• Germs can cause chaos!

• Not to take things for granted. To slow down and enjoy the time we have with our children.

• How to do more things at home.

• When you’re told to stay home is not as great as choosing to stay home.

• I can stay in for a good long time. Lots of food and wine.

• It seems that many people rely on crowded public places for entertainment.

• I don’t need everything that I think I do.

• It’s been a good reminder of what is truly important in life.

• History repeats. I wish mankind would understand their history and head the warnings.

• Most people in our area don’t think it’s that bad.

• It has been nice to slow down and do all the things “you never have time for.”

• Our system is failing. Our country is failing. People don’t know how to band together anymore.

• A lot of anti-intellectualism in the community. Averse to science.

• Preparation is important, friends are important, emotional health is key. Our community is great helping others. On the flip side some people in society will use anything to scam others.

• Some of the people at the top do not have any idea how rural American runs.

Some people said they had more time for their hobbies; others said they were relaxing, reading, and binge watching television. And others said they are still very busy and going to work. Many said they were cleaning.

“I personally have completed my spring cleaning, completed things that have been on my to do list for 5 years.”

Another said, “Trying to really take in the beauty of the world and be more hyper attentive of how the sky looks on our beautiful landscape. You never know when you’re going to close your eyes for good. Also I’m always reading good books, I don’t need a pandemic for that.”

One respondent seems to be doing quite a lot with the spare time: “Making a treehouse with the kids, teaching the kids how to cook and going on daily family hikes. Also learning to play the guitar and planning to plant/build a garden. Also been painting and doing more crafts with the kids.”


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