Nathan, Genesee County

Storyteller: Madeline Spillane

Nathan is 19 years old and lives in Flushing. He works part-time as a carpenter. Nathan first heard about Covid in early March while watching the news. At first he didn’t think that it was that big of a deal because there wasn’t a lot of fuss over it, but life slowly began to change. “Isolation became my norm. Not as many people were needing house repairs due to social distancing. Pay went down and I was basically unemployed. The company was laying people off because of the lack of business.” With all of the change came many benefits, but also many struggles. Nathan quickly learned that there were many things that he hadn’t appreciated enough. There were also many things that he benefited from with everything being locked down. “Forced isolation caused me to ponder on myself and my life. It gave me a greater understanding of myself and my role in society. It allowed me to empathize with those who have gone through mental-droughts previous to this viral outbreak and in return helped me become a better person.” There were also many things that weren’t so great about quarantine for Nathan. “I am definitely a people person so not having the ability to go out and be with friends and go to work really took a toll on me. I was fairly new to my job and I was just getting comfortable with it, not being able to be there isn’t normal for me and it threw me off. Also with no job, financially, life became very difficult.” Nathan has noticed that ever since having to wear masks everywhere his skin has gotten significantly worse and breathing has become much more difficult. The struggles of everyday life have really hit Nathan and the reality of our new “norms” are beginning to set in. There have also been a lot of new things that happened over these strange times. Nathan has had many great things happen during this time, but the one he decided to share is especially amazing. “I had unintentionally met the love of my life, which I find is rather paradoxical given the lack of social possibilities. We met around 4 months ago. It has been an amazing time getting to know her. Our relationship has grown so strong in such a short period of time. While it is still very early in our relationship it has still changed my life completely.” Quarantine has taught Nathan many things about himself and also the world we live in. He said that “this time I had to think and learn has given me a completely new outlook on the world around us. Society is very close minded and uneducated. There have been many ways to prevent the spread of this virus, yet people still seem to have the need to defy these orders that have been put in place for our own safety. It really has shown how ignorant the world truly is.”

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