In March 2020, I took a quick trip out of state to attend a special ceremony. The next day I returned home and heard of the first recognized case of the COVID-19 virus with a gentleman who lived in Tobyhanna, Pa., which is about a 40-minute drive from my house. By the time my other family members returned to their homes, cases started to rise ferociously. I realized that the pandemic was real and spreading my way.
As I stayed glued watching the news, I began to realize the seriousness of the ever-growing pandemic. I decided it would be best for me to not return to work as a substitute teacher because I did not feel safe to go into a crowded environment. During my stay at home, I decided to learn as much as I could regarding the pandemic. I took courses through Johns Hopkins University on contact tracing and other related courses, and instituted a strict stay-at-home policy: no visitors, no outdoor extracurricular activities, etc. What was most distressing was not being able to be with my grandchildren, distant relatives and friends.