How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your life?

By Terri Lynn Oldham House

Last week, we shared some responses from Facebook followers to the question that The SUN asked: “How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your life?”

The following are some more of the unedited responses that we’ve received.

Linda Lutomski wrote, “With quarantine and the limited contact with friends and family, we have focused on creative endeavors and taken a more focused look at what really matters. Friends, health, neighbors, our environment. So lucky to live in such a wonderful place!”

Krissy Gardikis wrote, “It’s made me realize how mean folks can be to one another. I suppose folks are scared of many things, but boy can they ever be mean to one another over masks etc.”

Shelley Raymond added, “Made me realize how selfish and sanctimonious most people are.”

Missy Losee shared, “The quarantine, while stressful, gave me quality time with my husband and daughter that id probably never have otherwise.”

Sylvia McDaniel added, “I’ve become a hermit, but we have grown closer to our neighbors. We social distance outside once a week.”

Michele Sweitzer shared, “Just changed the times of shopping, nothing I ever need is at the store. Have to go to 3 stores to find, and still nothing. So I shop elsewhere more.”

DawnMarie Olson added, “How has COVID-19 changed my life? I have to remember to have a mask before I leave the house. My mask is now my new accessory to my outfit.”

Sally Hovatter noted, “Waiting and waiting in line yesterday at the post office and it’s like everyone is afraid to talk to each other anymore. It is sad.”

Pauline Yago shared, “A ton more people especially from out of state have been coming up here and exploring things such as the ice caves and Piedra Canyon. So in return I have been exploring roads that I have never explored getting to know our mountains a lot better. Going where people don’t go.”

Annie Stone added, “I have taken the isolation time to learn & create. I’m a weaver & I’ve tried & made a lot of new things. I also miss my friends sorely.”

Amber Rhea wrote, “I haven’t smoked a cig in 7 years..until COVID. Stress is lame but I love having my kiddos close all the time!”

Di AL shared, “I’ve been off of work, so I’ve had more quantity AND quality time with both my daughters and their growing families. It’s been a real blessing.”

Leah Reeves wrote, “We moved to Pagosa in December 2019. It was a random move. We wanted something new and an opportunity arouse to work at an awesome local restaurant. Winter was tough, but coworkers told me summer would be awesome and I’d be able to save money to prepare for Winter 2020 and the ‘off season’. In March, our restaurant had to shut down dining options. Right before spring break. This lasted till mid June. Covid-19 was the cause of the shutdown. Now I’m scrambling to work as much as possible at the restaurant as well as another part time job just to get caught up on bills and to hopefully prepare for the off season in this sleepy town. I should be resting and nurturing my body so I dont get sick. Instead, I’m picking up as many restaurant shifts as possible while also doing my part time position at a wonderful cleaning company. People come into the restaurant and argue about wearing a mask.”

Glenna Sullivan added, “I’m amazed that some folks disregard medical studies and scientific facts from healthcare professionals and just simply make up their own story at the expense of the vulnerable. Wherever this virus came from and other disputed details of the pandemic are secondary to actually getting rid of the virus. Priorities are fuzzy at best. I’m amazed at our town leaders not being strong enough to protect its citizens. I’ve realized that as much as I’d like the world to be a better place and for people to care about each other, the population is not moving in that direction. People are holding lifestyle over life.”

Tony Medrano shared, “My father in law passed away a couple months ago. We were not only unable to be there (Arizona) when it happened but to this day no funeral service has been held. He was a decorated Army Veteran ( Vietnam/Persian Gulf). No one should be forgotten this way. He will soon have a Memorial Brick placed at the Veterans Memorial site. He will never be forgotten….”

Kayla Hamblin wrote, “It’s shown me the good and bad of our town. We have people who will go out of their way to help others. Who selfishly put themselves out there to help. And we have people who only think about them selves and their agendas, they will be defiant for whatever their reasoning and that’s their choice. It’s been a blessing for my immune compromised home to be together to teach my children. Yeah some days suck, but most days are not so bad. I am getting valuable time with myself and family to grow and learn and be apart of, we’re making memories that our crazy society was rushing us past.”

Michele May Rafferty shared “Because of covid 19, we had to cancel the big extended family trip, I didn’t get to see my mom like I had planned, and now she’s gone.”

Charlotte Ballard added, “I was a bit of a hermit before so it hasn’t impacted me as much as others….i am thankful to have many closets to clean out and finding many projects to finish. My biggest sacrifice is not being able to have family and friends visit.”

Chris Olivarez noted, “I sleep a lot.”

Pamela Larson wrote, “It has given me the space to disconnect from the world and focus inward.”

Danyelle Vincent Leentjes added, “I miss my family across the country, especially my mother who lives alone in Ohio. Also I am trying to raise my child to live in joy, not fear. It is challenging to find a balance between staying healthy and living a normal life.”

Lisa Griffin Smith wrote, “I miss traveling and going to concerts with my girls… and I’m over peoples behaviors! So many people behaving like children!!!!”

Kim Bristow added, “It has made me more aware of stopping to take notice and embrace the joy in the simple moments of everyday life. Of connecting more with people in my everyday life – cashiers, postal workers and our UPS driver. Being thankful for the wonderful blessing of living in our small mountain town and the refuge we find being in nature in our National Forest.”

Leslie Lattin wrote, “Sore ears.”

Karen Bartholomew added, “My mom is in Pine Ridge with dementia and haven’t been able to see her for months except through a closed window. She doesn’t do facetime, skype or cell phones. She’s been so isolated for so long and her dementia is declining because of it.”

We wish we had room to share everyone’s thoughts. Thank you to everyone who responded. Stay safe. 

This story was posted on August 13, 2020.