Tell us your first name and a little bit about yourself.
Ginger Merriman. I’m 57 I live in Fremont ca USA. I have worked as a hair dresser, an EMT and an Administrator.
I’m sheltering in place with my husband. We have been married 28 years this August. He is retired and I was between jobs for 5 months and had just gone back to work part time when the shelter in place order was issued. That 5 months gave us some practice on how to spend a lot of time together without killing each other.
On a scale of 1-10, how have you been at this whole sheltering thing anyway? 1 means you are essentially carrying on as if nothing is going on. 10 means you’re not leaving your house for any reason and having everything delivered to you. (No judgments here...just curious how people would self-rate.)
I’m going to say around a 2 or 3. Our daily life hasn’t changed much I’m still working in an essential business for a shipping company. We walk a 2.5 mile loop in our neighborhood most days. We still shop for groceries the same way (every few days) the things that have changed for us are the restrictions from outside. We have also had company, 2 very good friends of my husband’s have visited him. They hung out in the garage (normal for us) with the door open and visited from across the garage it was really cute.
No... I do know 2 people who have died of non covid related issues since the shelter in place order.
If you are alone, how are you handling the isolation? If you are with others, how are you handling that?
I’m not alone but I have to say I feel very restricted and oppressed.
Are you able to get out and enjoy nature anywhere near you?
Yes we are still walking in our neighborhood and so are some of the other regular walkers in our neighborhood. We are also seeing some new regulars.
What kind of self-care habits have you put in place to keep you sane?
Walking, avoiding the news, being kind to others, practicing gratitude. I would however really like to get a massage and a pedicure.
If you have kids, how is homeschooling going?
What kind of work do you do? Are you able to work from home? How is that going?
I work for a shipping company. I work in a department that subcontracts to Amazon. When the order was first issued we were still working out of the Amazon fulfillment center in Newark. 2 weeks in Amazon made the choice to restrict all subcontractors for the facility. So now I work at the Ontrac hub in Fremont. I have to say I do feel less exposed. In contrast to Amazon’s huge and very populated facility, I’m now in an office by myself. I share a work station, my counterpart works at night. We each clean the work station at the beginning and end of each shift. Because we are a separate department I only have in-person contact with one other person. I feel safe there as far as my exposure goes.
Be honest...you’ve cut your own hair, right?
Nope!!! I’m very lucky I have a hair cut that is growing out really well. And I stopped coloring my hair 2 years ago.
What surprising positive thing has happened because of the time being spent at home/with family?
I’m going to say that for the most part everyone has been very respectful. I haven’t been the recipient of anyone’s ignorance or anxiety. Although I personally know people who have. A friend of ours who is Vietnamese was verbally accosted at Costco. And the elderly neighbor (89) got really distressed when the neighbor boys mowed everyone’s lawns one afternoon. My husband had to defuse the situation because the boys’ dad doesn’t speak much English and the boys would never talk back to an elder. So in light of those two things I am grateful every day for ALL the good interactions I have with our neighbors and service providers in our community.
How are you doing birthdays and other celebrations with all of the restrictions in place?
Well we haven’t had to cross that bridge personally but I did get to be part of a zoom party for my niece and I got to see a video of my sisters children and grandchildren giving her a birthday parade. That one made me cry...
What changes do you think you will permanently implement after this experience?
Not much as I have really not had to change much.
Nationally my husband thinks more people will continue to work from home now that companies have figured out that process.
What significant impact, if any, will the virus have on your plans for this year?
Our annual trip to Calistoga for the World of Outlaws sprint car show in September will most likely be impacted. Not sure if spectators will be allowed at that time.
I’m going to put this here because it is not addressed directly in any of your questions. Managing health care during this time. We have each had a significant event for which we needed medical care. We did receive treatment but it was difficult to get that ball rolling. My husband needed an X-ray and PT and I needed blood work. I felt there was a reluctance to order those tests and in both situations I had to be persistent to get them ordered. The protocol in place is strict to enter Kaiser for said tests and I am impressed with that even though it was a pain in the patootie.
Are you ready to get back into the world (with safety precautions in place)?
OH GOD YES.... Please.
Which TV shows have you been watching and what do you think everyone else should start?
Old stuff... past seasons of CSI and Bones
New Stuff... 911 and date line. I have to say I’m not happy with some of the commercials with a COVID / shelter in place spin while they are tastefully done, TV is my escape and I really don’t want to be reminded of COVID during my TV time. Thank god for DVRs and being able to fast forward past that shit.
What are you happy to leave behind in the “old world?”
I’m going to be pessimistic here and say I don’t think much will be left behind.
Well maybe individuals will find growth and maybe to a small degree as a society but definitely not as a political body.
What can you appreciate most about the “new world?”
Again Debbie Downer here... I think the world will just find new dysfunction at least politically. I hope I’m blown away by a major societal shift but I just don’t see that happening on a global or even a national scale. And that makes me sad.
What is the first thing you’re going to do when the shelter-in-place is lifted?
Get Chinese food at the little restaurant we like that is currently closed.
Go shopping at Ross, Marshalls and Home Goods.
I put them in the order I think they will be available.
Who is the person you have missed seeing most during this time?
Because we live away from our families how we interact with them hasn’t changed.
What song would best represent the time you’ve spent at home?
Under Pressure Queen/David Bowie.
In a fantasy world where the virus doesn’t exist and money isn’t an issue, where is your dream vacation destination?
If money and travel time were not an issue and Scotty could just beam be over. An African Safari OR the Dead Sea.