The coronavirus pandemic has affected me in several ways. One way it’s affected me is that it’s made it very difficult to buy essential items that I need because other people are panic buying. For people like me who, unfortunately, only have state assistance for income, it makes it hard to get what we need when everyone is stocking up on unnecessary stuff that’s most likely going to go bad before they can use it all. I can’t even buy tissue for my household because people are going around buying 5 or 6 12-packs at a time. One 12-pack of tissue usually lasts me about 3 weeks; there’s no reason people should be buying that much toilet paper. It got to the point where my teacher had to bring me some toilet paper because I couldn’t find it anywhere. It’s sad that I had to rely on her to bring me toilet paper because of how selfish people are being.
Another way the pandemic has affected me is that I now have to do all my school work online. This is a struggle for me because I’m more of a hands-on learner and I struggle a lot understanding concepts, so not having my teacher close when I need help makes things a little harder for me. Also, since all the schools have shut down, it’s hard getting my school work done because I have my daughter home and she interrupts me a lot throughout the day. She always asks me if she can have a snack or if we can go play outside. Sometimes she interrupts my conference calls with my teachers because she wants to play instead. This pandemic has taken a toll on my mental health as well. I battle with depression and anxiety daily, and not being able to go outside as often really worsens my depression. Being able to soak up the sun makes me feel better, but with all these germs going around I’m afraid to even go outside. My anxiety is through the roof because of this pandemic as well. I’m always thinking about what could happen to me and my daughter. I’m always afraid we’re going to be exposed to the virus somehow, so I never leave my house unless I absolutely have to.
Looking ahead to the future, when all this is over and done, I’m hoping things will slowly get back to normal. For example, I’m hoping to be able to buy toilet paper again whenever I need it. I’m hoping schools will open back up because remote learning is not easy for me. I’m hoping my daughter’s school will open back up as well so she doesn’t fall behind in her education. I’m really looking forward to being able to take my daughter to the park again, and being able to simply enjoy the outdoors with her.
Note: Teresa is a student at Vermont Adult Learning’s White River Jct. Learning Center