(May 29, 2020) My name is Veonna King. I am now a junior at Cal U. I live in Clairton, Pennsylvania which is about 30 minutes from Cal U.
All of March I decided to stay in my apartment at Vulcan Village, near Cal U’s campus. I would catch the bus to the Brownsville Walmart for any essentials. I would take a lot of precautions with getting on the bus such as making sure I had gloves on with a mask, I would sit far from people and social distance in the store. One of the toughest things was always reminding myself not to touch my face until I got home and washed my hands.
When coming back home to Clairton in April everything was completely different. Brownsville is a lot more more secluded than the West Mifflin and Pleasant Hills shopping area. Going to the bank and even Home Depot the lines are usually wrapped around. When I was living in my apartment I really didn’t have to take as many precautions because I didn’t come into contact with nearly as many people. Most of our family shopping is done at Giant Eagle supermarket on a Saturday which is pretty hectic. The check out lines are long and there are also a lot of people in the aisle, which kind of defeats the purpose of social distancing. The most exciting part is getting into the car and ripping off your mask. It feels like you can breathe again.
I am lucky enough to have a lot of financial support so I haven’t been working. My usual job at home is caregiving. With the coronavirus going on I would hate to catch or give to someone. So I have made a conscious decision to just stay home. This isn’t the case for my parents though. They are both essential workers and I always worry for their safety. My mom is a nurse and my dad is blue collar worker.
Some days are better than others during the pandemic. Some days I wanna be selfish and walk around without a mask and hang with my friends, but now seeing the death toll I am quickly reminded of how important it is to just stay home. I am currently interning for PublicSource, which is a Pittsburgh local non-profit news outlet. I am currently doing this virtually. We have our weekly staff Zoom meeting on Monday and Thursday. My interviews for possible stories are done on the phone. All of this being done virtually does pose challenges, but doing something that I love to do is worth it. This also keeps me busy on most days, so when I am in the house all day at times it doesn’t even phase me. The hardest and most difficult time for me is usually on Saturday and Sunday. I am off those days and miss going out to eat and hanging with family and friends. On most weekends I binge watch a new Netflix series or do a Zoom call with friends.
Now that Allegheny County is in the “yellow phase” I am seeing even more people out than before. I didn’t mind until I noticed a good amount of them are not wearing a mask. My family and I go to the store and sometimes I take a walk behind our house.
Last week I went fishing with my dad, so that was pretty fun. Other than that I don’t go out. To me it’s just too much of a hassle. With having to clean everything you touched especially your phone. It carries so many germs and having to take a shower and putting your clothes you wore in a separate bag and bleaching and cloroxing is such a long process.