Pandemic Stories

Kerstin Budlong, Charles Town, WV

The worst part of the pandemic for me is that I have not been together with my son and his family since Christmas, 2019.  Thank God for FaceTime.  Since he and his wife are both front line workers, and I’m 76 with a compromised immune system, we know the importance of staying physically apart, but, boy, it’s hard.  

I did get to watch my granddaughter dancing in the Southwest Virginia Ballet Company’s performance of the Nutcracker on the Roanoke, Virginia PBS station.  If you think wearing a mask is difficult, try dancing wearing one.

I’m an introvert, and I have always needed my time alone in order to get myself back on track, but I found out this past year that there is a great deal of difference between wanting to be alone and having to be alone.  Occasionally, I would get in my car and drive just to be out in public.  I am blessed to be living in the middle of a 330 acre farm, so during good weather, I was able to do social distance walking on the farm with a couple of friends.  In addition to the pleasure of friendship, I enjoyed seeing some of the beautiful and/or unexpected parts of the farm.

It’s amazing what can be accomplished on FaceTime, Zoom and other meeting sites.  I have visited with family and friends, had doctor visits, attended meetings and taken online classes.  As a CASA volunteer, I have seen the children I am advocating for, attended court hearings and MDTs, and have done everything I would normally do in person.

My home is cleaner, my photographs are more organized, and my junk drawers have been cleared up.  And with the library being open, I have all the books to read that I want.

I know that I am more blessed than many people to have a roof over my head, food on my table and clothes on my back.