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Has the pandemic affected your religious or spiritual observance in any way? If so, tell us about it.

This question is very well-timed because I am about to start my second month of Ramadan during the pandemic. The first was last year at the height of the pandemic and was noticeably different because there weren't the usual gatherings to break our fast or pray at night, However, I feel like the Muslim world's resilience has shone through this calamity we have faced because we have readily found ways to adapt to our conditions by praying over zoom, using the month to reflect on the pandemic and pray for the virus to finally be eradicated.

¿Ha cambiado su condición de vivienda un los ultimos meses? Quizá hubo un cambio en donde usted vive, o con quién vive, o en su relación con las personas con quienes vive.

Sí cambié de vivienda. En mi casa, mi habitación quedaba en un segundo piso. El 20 de agosto del año pasado (2020) me enfermé y necesitaba que alguien me cuidara. Entonces, regresé a la casa de mi mamá, donde crecí. Esa casa es de un solo piso y mi habitación aún estaba disponible. Después de la enfermedad, me agito mucho y me cuesta respirar si subo gradas . En principio, por eso me he quedado en la casa de mi mamá.

También me di cuenta de que en mi casa me deprimía porque no tenía alguien con quien hablar. Desde que vivo con mi mamá, ya no siento esa tristeza perenne. Hablamos y compartimos todo el tiempo. Eso me ayuda mucho.

Este año también me enfermé durante varias semanas. Al estar en esta casa, fue más fácil para mí recuperarme y tomar los medicamentos.

Tanto mi mamá como yo guardamos un confinamiento más estricto que el de mi hijo, por ejemplo, quien se quedó en la otra casa. Allí entra y sale gente joven constantemente, algunos trabajan fuera. Las posibilidades de contagio de COVID-19 son altas porque se relacionan con mucha gente externa.

Mi mamá me ha dicho que está contenta de que yo la acompañe, así que seguiré aquí por algún tiempo más.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

Last week I finally had the opportunity to remember, rejoice in what life was like BC. I had both shots and now I'm protected from COVID. At least that's what is said. My first outing was a ferry ride to the City to meet a friend for lunch - outdoors of course, and we still wore masks. I hadn't seen her in more than a year. A few days later, we met with our group of friends called family by choice, nine of us all under the same roof again, also vaccinated, but we didn't wear masks. We laughed and hugged, and cooked together, sat at the table to eat looking out at the mountain. I played with the dogs who I adore. These were the first hugs I have from someone other than my husband and the nurse who watched over me after I had a CT Scan. We, too, had both been vaccinated. There may be life on the other side of this. I await anxiously for it to be a daily occurrence. I am grateful.

Have you or people in your community been harassed, threatened, or attacked since the pandemic began, either in person or online? If so, what happened?

At first, I did not see much hate being spread about groups of people in relation to the virus, but I later found out that the Asian community has taken a lot of heat from prejudiced people during this pandemic. I have a friend from high school who was harassed and yelled at on the street for being Taiwanese. I also didn't realize that calling it the Chinese virus causes more hate crimes against Asian people statistically. At first, I thought that there was nothing wrong with calling it the Chinese virus, but since learning that information I don't think it is so wise. I still believe people should be allowed to say it, but when public figures like Donald Trump say it I think it becomes an issue.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

During a pandemic, I found bed bugs in my senior housing apartment in ... MI. Stress and anxiety trippled as if pandemic weren’t enough. Got treatment two days later . Am allergic to bug bites so have have hives for the last month and didn’t know why. Scared to go to doctor due to pandemic. With bed bugs killed, my hives are going away

Almost a dozen apartments where I live have had bed bugs since January They seem to be going through the walls and electrical outlets. Management is tackling the problem on an apartment by apartment basis instead of treating the whole building. Plus they are trying to keep it quiet which makes the problem worse.

Having a crisis like this on top of a pandemic is almost beyond coping with .

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I never thought I'd be so excited to get a shot! Last week I received the first shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID. At about the same time, I learned that a friend of mine just lost her husband to COVID the weekend before. Their whole family came down with COVID, and they all recovered, but he ended up in the hospital for more than a month before he lost his battle with COVID. He is the first person I know who died from this terrible pandemic. It's been a sobering reminder to not let my guard down after getting this first shot. I've caught myself so many times that "it should be okay now" but his death really shook me. I really feel like I've come this far without getting COVID and now I'm so close to being fully vaccinated and having some real protection against this disease. I'm starting a little countdown now to when I'm fully vaccinated, which won't be until 2 weeks after my 2nd shot: May 12th is that date for me. Exactly one month away.....

Talk about what brings you happiness these days.


Birds and their songs.

Green grass.


Listening to Miles Davis.

David Rose gifs.

Observances of kindness and caring.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I'm at a loss to understand why some people don't take the pandemic seriously and persist in believing false information and conspiracy theories.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I had my vaccine last week. I am only 22 so most people my age (minus those that have healthcare jobs) are not being vaccinated yet but I am an unpaid carer for my grandparents who are shielding due to having health conditions including weak lungs so I was eligible to get mine early to protect them when I go in to clean and look after them.

The vaccines were being done in the town hall on a nearby town. I had mine at 6.30pm on a Friday night. You did not need to show any email confirmation or paperwork and obviously no bill as we have the NHS in the UK. I just went in and said my name and took a seat. It was quite quiet. A woman that was waiting at the same time I was said to her nurse that her husband had been in for his vaccine a couple of hours earlier but they could not come together as her appointment was later. The nurse said that in future for her second dose she could probably just turn up with her husband and ask if she could have hers at the same time as her husband as there are usually spare appointments.

I had the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine. This week there has been lots in the news about whether it is safe to give to young people due to blood clots - they are saying they might give young people my age a different one when it comes to mass vaccination of 18-25 year olds. But oh well, I have had it now and a week on I feel okay.

I felt very tired and droopy the evening after I had it and then had a bad night where I woke up multiple times vaguely conscious of being sore and aching. It felt like a cross between flu and a bad period. My fingers felt like they were thrumming. I took ibuprofen and paracetamol and kept hydrated. I did not realise I had a temperature until my mum came in and asked why my windows were open and why the room was so cold. Turned out I had a temperature of 100 F. I felt dizzy and weird all that morning but actually found I felt worse lying down in bed than walking about. I had a shower and felt better. That afternoon I managed a nice walk in the sun and saw some frogs. I was tired after again but it was fine in the long run.

Talk about what brings you happiness these days.

It's Spring here in central Ohio and trees are waking up. The weather is warmer and there is a lot of birdsong. My dog is amazing. My cat is a snuggle bunny. After 20 years my wife's presence still lifts my spirits and fills my heart. I'm going to be 68 this coming Monday and am still going strong. The wind chimes on my front porch make me smile, even when the wind makes them go crazy. Flowers are in bloom.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

This week I have watched my friends in Oklahoma and Texas completely forget that we are in a pandemic as they post to social media the large parties, small and large venue concerts and packed sporting events that they attend with hardly anyone wearing a mask. It's infuriating. Even thought many are vaccinated, it is completely irresponsible and, honestly, has made me lose a little respect for them.

I am so worn down with teaching. It takes so much effort to teach online asynchronous. We are going into week 5 and I am dragging. 7 weeks to go and I don't know if I will finish well. My students are sweet but I wish I could meet them!

How has the pandemic affected your work, or your schoolwork? Give an example or two.

This photograph is of my school schedule, which will start in approximately a week. Here's what I wrote about in in my last blog post:

"Also, schools are opening up in my area. There's been very little communication from them about what in-person/hybrid learning is going to look like, even though they've already asked us to commit to one option (hybrid) or another (completely virtual). I got interviewed by the local paper about it, and that interview should show up tomorrow or the day after.

The way that the school district has decided to reopen is classes in the morning online, followed by class either online or in person, depending which option you opted in to. There are two in-person cohorts (one goes into school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other on Thursdays and Fridays) and one virtual cohort. There is no school on Wednesdays, which has been the case throughout virtual school and will continue to be the case in hybrid mode. Though hybrid school starts in a week, no one knows what cohort they belong to. Evidentially, communication is not Seattle Public Schools' strong suit. Oh well, right?"

Schoolwork is definitely going to be very different than it is now. I won't be able to google questions on the homework that I don't understand, ha ha. And I won't be able to multitask and do other work during class. I'll have to actually get dressed in the morning. Also, I've never been in the building before and have no idea where my classes are, which should be interesting. I'm sure there'll be a lot of other change, too, but I can't think of any at this moment.

Talk about what brings you happiness these days.

Happiness. Hmmm...

Does anything bring me happiness? I'm starting at last to shop for groceries again in the store instead of delivery. I prefer that by far (I'm the cook at home), but does it make me happy? Perhaps content.

My cat makes me happy, but then he always did/does.

Well that's one heck of a question. I suppose the underlying question is what brought me happiness before, and is that different now. So, I know what my personal task is for the near future: understand what brought me happiness before the pandemic?

Think about the people closest to you. Tell us about how the coronavirus has affected them, and their life.

My daughter got COVID back in March 2020. The docs refused to believe she had it because she was 'too young'--and they treated her for strep throat. Luckily she is smart and bought a lot of Pedilyte (electrolytes for fever and dehydration) and stayed home and in bed. Her roommate also got sick. Her boss got hold of the docs and insisted she be tested--she did have COVID; so did a co-worker. The hotel she worked at closed, but they sent all kinds of food especially perishable vegetables and fruits which helped both of them find easy moist stuff to eat during recovery. Many of the hotel and restaurant workers got COVID at the same time, so afterwards, when they were all well again, they formed a kind of club and hug out together. Among themselves they did not have to be afraid, so they went on picnics, hiking, just fooling around, avoiding boredom since they were all out of work. Lucky the government came through with monies--things were beginning to get sticky. Since then this same group has kept up their friendships, snowmobiling in the winter, and skiing in fancy shared outfits, just for the joy of it. In short, they dealt well with COVID, both the being-sick part and the afterwards part. Subsequently my brother and his wife, and my daughter's former boyfriend, all got COVID and were hospitalized, but all recovered, if slowly.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

This week has been difficult emotionally. I thought I had attained some sort of relatively zen and hopeful state of mind by being hopeful about the vaccine rollout (my parents and mother-in-law having received their first shot), but the delicate castle I had built for myself came tumbling down. There are a lot of variants circulating in my region and the provincial government has been systematically extremely late to react and has explicitly stated that they are waiting until the worst happens (which basically means, until it's too late) to put further restrictions. They have been toying with people's hopes by reopening and then closing things back up again in a matter of days. It's tiring. People are fed up with this, myself included.

I had to go to the hospital to pick up my husband after a test he had to do this week. I entered the building and there were so many people all around and the building was cramped, I felt I was going to have a panic attack. I felt my heart racing, I was almost in tears and couldn't find him - the hospital was a maze. I was in there perhaps 10 minutes, but it made me realize how not ready I am to be in crowded places. It was a brutal reminder that the pandemic has affected my mental health more than I had realized. I feel more anxious and distrustful of people more than I probably ever did.

Talk about how the coronavirus has affected your closest relationships.

My oldest son who is a teacher was fully vaccinated in February and I am now fully vaccinated. I got to hug my son for the first time in over a year this week.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

The rates of infection in Michigan continue to be very high but all the governor announced today is she suggests we stay home, stay out of restaurants, schools go virtual for two weeks after spring break and that youth sports be put on hold for two weeks.

It has been over a year of dealing with this pandemic. People want their lives back so they are refusing to deal with what is going on. They want this all to be over, so if you deny what is going on, it doesn't exist... They blame the governor for this pandemic, for shutting things down so people stay safe. We have the more infectious UK variant running like gang busters here, and the governor can't shut us down because no one will listen, they will sue. Parents are threatening to sue because the governor is now requiring weekly testing. TESTING to make sure people are healthy. Really?

This week is the first week that my son and daughter-in-law can now get shots. I am hoping that they stay safe until they have their vaccines

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I've started seeing more people returning after working from home for a year. It's almost awkward to be in the same space again. Today one particular co-worker returned for the first time in 14 months. We've spoken regularly during that time. However, it has been strictly about work things. We never had the opportunity to hang out in the break room and chat about our children, community news and plans for the weekend. It almost would have been easier if we hadn't talked for all these months - we focus on talking about the highlights (or lowlights) of the past year and settle back in to the relationship we had before. But now that we are in the same room, it's almost as if we are strangers again. My past year has included overtime, emotional stress and physical exhaustion. Her past year has been isolation and loneliness. How do we come together again after that? How long will it take until we can become a team again?

When is the last time something really made you laugh? Tell us about it.

Bonding with my fellow graduate students of color over the fact that we are over tired, over worked, but got a good job certificate basically saying aaaaaw we appreciate you.

But what about that unpaid overtime, a day off, maybe free food....can I turn it in for something I need? Like I appreciate the appreciation but it did give us a great laugh to bond through the pain and all.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

For the second Pandemic year we just celebrated Passover-for-two on Zoom, separated from other seder participants by distance and screen. Our dining room table was still overflowing with beautiful china and symbolic foods, but we couldn’t share our bounty because we were alone in our home, far from our family and friends.

And yet, I still made charoses for a crowd. Charoses (or, the Sephardic pronunciation, “charoset”) is the apple-walnut-wine concoction which resembles the mortar of the bricks our forefathers had to use to build the pyramids in Egypt. The story is that the Jews were slaves in Egypt. Because we worked so hard to be free, we should live and work for the liberation of all people.

My charoses is made with apples, walnuts, sweet kosher wine, cinnamon sugar, and nutmeg (my secret ingredient). I forgot to add honey this year. It was still terrifically delicious. It is always a patchke (pahtch-key) to make this Passover treat. The food processor and the counter around it end up covered in sticky apple juice drippings, requiring hot soapy water to fully clean the prep space. First I chop the walnuts and add them to the mixing bowl. Then I add apple to the spinning processor, about 2-3 apples at a time. Then, all of the cinnamon sugar in the house, plus a bit more, plus plenty of sweet kosher wine. Cover the bowl and shake it up, and let it sit in the fridge for a day before the seder meal.

I’ll make some more today. Enough to last through the final days of this 8-day festival. This is a sweet treat through the 8 days of bleak, flat foods like matzo and other yeast-less products. Our private celebration of deliciousness in the dark days of pandemic plagues.