These are definitely challenging times for all of us. The coronavirus pandemic has become a far greater concern than anyone imaged. I live in New York City which is the epicenter of the US Coronavirus outbreak and more specifically, I live in the Queens neighborhood. The most positive cases are found in Queens. So if I wasn’t already worried, this doesn’t help. Honestly, living in New York during this coronavirus pandemic is frightening. The numbers continue to rise and the more I hear on the news the more worried I become. I have been working from home for over four weeks now and Ricardo started to work from home last week. He has asthma so I am even more worried about him. We are staying home and only leave to get essential items. We have found ourselves working from home and taking care of our little girls at the same time. Our work life and home life have intertwined but the silver lining in all of this is all the amazing time I have gotten with my girls.
The stress of it all is a lot to bare at times. Living in New York, the epicenter of it all in the United States, makes it scary for me to even go outside. It’s easy to worry about coming in contact with someone who has the virus because there are many who don’t have any symptoms. I have been working from home for a while now and Ricardo was initially running to the store to get food. I was busy with work and the girls so being home for so long didn’t bother me at all. Besides, we went on occasional walks around the neighborhood initially. I’m more of a homebody since I had my second baby so I was fine being home. I decided that it was better if I go out to the grocery store and I went out just a few weeks ago. So much changed in those two weeks, Astoria, the neighborhood in Queens that I live in, was completely quiet. There were barely anyone on the streets or in the store. When I got to the grocery store, no one even looked at one another, let alone speak to anyone. It was eerie and as I walked back home, it really began to set it how scary this whole situation is. Everyone is wearing gloves and face masks and keeping our distance. It is really like a war zone. From living in a bustling neighborhood where all the restaurants were packed daily to seeing maybe five people outside, is a striking punch in the gut. I didn’t realize at first, but recently I noticed an uneasiness feeling in my stomach. Anxiety is slowly creeping up and I get nervous at times but keeping positive and have faith about a positive future for us all. As of Friday, April 3rd, there are over 57,000 positive cases of coronavirus in New York City and Queens has the most cases with over 17,000.
My children are very young and still do not understand what is happening. I am using this time to stress the importance of washing their hands. Many parents have to explain why school, extra curricular activities, birthdays, are all being cancelled and why everyone is inside. Chloe asks us to take her to the playground and we feel bad that we can’t take her but thankful we have a backyard that she can play in. This is a lot of stress to endure for parents and their children. Chloe is three and Celine is one and my in-laws were watching them regularly when Ricardo and I were at work. They are the reason I am staying positive. I want them to know one day that we stayed inside for as long as possible to help reduce the spread of this virus. Luckily for me, when I am around them, I forget what is happening outside and enjoy the time with them.
I am fortunate to still have a job at this time and I am working remotely. Deadlines are still there, expectations are still there and there are is very little down time. I am constantly working because I have to step away so much to take care of my girls. I end up working late and much longer than usual. Working remotely has its benefits, such as being able to continue my jobs seamlessly but then you are always reachable in everyone’s mind. It is not like in the office when you step away from the desk for lunch or are in a meeting and they can visibly see that you are not at your desk. In addition, having two children three years old and younger, they want my constant attention. I am juggling taking care of them, sometimes having one sit on my lap while on a conference call, or feeding the other one. It is a lot but working does also help to take my mind off of the pandemic for a moment
The coronavirus pandemic is scary and I am nervous about anything happening to my family. I try not to think negatively and only focus on the positive. I actually have no free time to even let negative thoughts in. As soon as they do, I try to move on but I am still human and there are the occasional moments of wondering what is going to happen to this city and to my family. I wonder when will things get better, when will we do the everyday things we did and took for granted, like checking the mail without wiping down the mailbox! The silver lining on all of this is the amount of time we are spending together as a family. I know my girls are enjoying having their parents all day to themselves and Ricardo and I aren’t as tired as before. We have more time to talk and watch movies as a family. New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus in the United States but we will get through!
Thank you for reading,