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Different ages, perspectives on COVID-19

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MISSION VALLEY — Four Mission Valley residents, separated in age by many years, recently shared with the Valley Journal newspaper their opinions about the COVID-19 virus, the stay at home order, their concerns for the future, and how they think we can best help ourselves.

Amaya

Nine-year-old Amaya Shizuku knows the COVID-19 virus makes people sick. She said if she were to give advice on how to stay healthy she would say, “Wash your hands and eat healthy.” She enjoys eating oranges, lemons and salads. 

Being home-schooled for the past two years, she hasn’t experienced an interruption in her schooling routine during the stay-at-home order. 

The biggest disruption has been in her social life. Amaya said she hasn’t seen any of her friends. Her mother explained that at first it wasn’t apparent but after six weeks, it’s becoming clear how much Amaya misses her playmates. 

George

Senior citizen George Biggs doesn’t wear a face mask and isn’t worried about contracting the virus. “I’m 90 years old,” he said. “It’s not going to bother me.” He explained that he’s known different people in the valley who’ve had a really bad cough that was going around and they all survived. 

He believes the virus has to be a really horrible illness and added, “Some get well and some die.” But since he doesn’t know anyone personally who’s died, Biggs said, in regards to the pandemic, “not so sure it’s all authentic.”  

The pandemic hasn’t affected him. Doing just about the same thing everyday, he gets up, has his coffee and waits for his sons to come discuss what’s taking place that day. 

Brianna

As a single parent, 32-year-old Brianna Weivoda juggles her massage business with her responsibilities to her children. Weivoda enthusiastically described how home-schooling has “made me so much more grateful for teachers.” 

The experience of shutting down her business for the first time in 16 years has been in some ways a blessing in disguise. She’s been able to spent more time with her children and not working has allowed her to slow down. “It’s good to let my body rest,” she explained.

What is difficult for her, she says, is the distancing. “I’m such a hugger,” she said. “This is a struggle for me.”

Friends going out of business causes her the greatest concern. She also worries that some businesses may become automated and online only instead of hiring people. It also concerns her when she hears people she know say they are now making more money with unemployment than they did with a job.

Weivoda has recently reopened her Satori Massage business, but in a limited way. Snow-bird clients just-returning to the area from out-of-state, are asked to quarantine for three weeks. Also, they are questioned about their health and their temperature is taken prior to an appointment with her. These are a few of the extra challenges.

Her trips for the summer have been cancelled but she plans on enjoying hiking in the area and hopes some of the annual community activities will still take place.

She is doing what she can to protect herself and her family. Epson salt baths, using essential oils, drinking tea, and limiting news watching are how she stays healthy and avoids living in fear. 

Dawn

With her ACT tests pushed off until next year, Dawn Barnard can’t spend the summer checking out and applying for colleges, like so many juniors-becoming-seniors normally do. She also worries that she could get behind in her schoolwork because it is hard to make herself sit down and get it done. She’s spent a lot of her time working. 

At 17 years old, Dawn’s finally gotten to an age she is old enough to travel with friends to amusement parks and concerts and now there won’t be those opportunities. 

“The times are weird and not as social,” she said.

Dawn says she worries about the health of babies and older folks and thinks “new protocols will stay, like (people) staying 6 feet apart, forever.” She thinks social distancing is a good idea because “even with a vaccine, it (the virus) could mutate and it could happen all over again.” She said the COVID-19 virus has “made me think about nursing or becoming a doctor.”

Though nearly all Lake County citizens have thusfar avoided contracting the virus, other COVID-19 effects including school closures, lack of socializing, loss of business and income, uncertainty and worry about the future continue to be felt.

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