Editor’s note: This story is part of Coping with COVID-19, a series of brief looks at people in a pandemic.
By Amelia Cole
Claudia Berríos-Campos, Michigan State University doctoral student in Hispanic Cultural Studies, Grand Ledge, Michigan
Echo: What will you do first when the stay-at-home order is lifted that you can’t do now?
“Probably visit my in-laws, first. We are very close to them, and it’s been a while since we saw them, and they are very social, probably more social than us. So, they are getting a little crazy because they want to go to the casino, they want to see their friends, and we are trying to keep them aware— ‘Ok, no, you can’t do that.’ And I know they are hanging out with some of their neighbors, and all of them are kind of in the part of the population that should be more careful. They are older, they have health situations that are more complicated, they get sick, so it’s like ‘Ok, no, you shouldn’t do that.’ So yeah, I’d probably visit my in-laws.”
Echo: What have you learned from quarantine that you don’t need or want and that you just won’t bother to return to after the stay-at-home order is lifted?
“My routine has stayed the same but I’m more consciously doing stuff, like for example, trying to buy more online stuff, trying to help the economy, especially local businesses, or small businesses that I know of that speak to me, speak to my concerns.
“I value definitely more people who work in the shipping industry, that work in groceries, definitely. I probably won’t be as bothered by shipping fees anymore. I always tried to not get shipping, or avoid places that didn’t have free shipping, or the shipping was too high, so maybe now I’ll consider more, OK, this makes sense. This goes to pay for somebody’s business.”
Echo: What have you enjoyed during the quarantine that you didn’t used to do, but will continue to do even after this is all over?
“Well my husband and I have been talking about using our ping pong table more. We haven’t done it yet, but I’ll tell him to start today. So probably we’ll try to keep doing that more after the quarantine finishes.
“Probably I’ll try to connect more with the neighbors. Because we had new neighbors just move in next door and they have a baby, and they just moved in, like a month or two weeks I think before the quarantine started. So, the idea was to hang out with the baby, maybe babysit one day, and I haven’t been able to do that obviously. So yeah, I like to be connecting more with the neighbors.”
“I think that hardest part has been trying to keep a routine consistent, and just trying not to feel overwhelmed, and not getting into the trap of reading about it, informing, and just being overwhelmed by that. But at the same time, being productive. It has been hard to reconcile the two things: trying to be productive and at the same time acknowledging that we are under very difficult circumstances and everybody is struggling with that.”