For the first time since 2020, COVID numbers are the lowest they’ve ever been
By Jy’Ahzhannae Taylor
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
"The first story that CNN published on the novel coronavirus came on January 6 as the world began to learn about a new disease spreading in Wuhan, China." The coronavirus, a respiratory illness spread across the world shockingly causing a three year worldwide pandemic.
Although covid was first detected in 2019, the world as we know it changed forever in 2020 once it was announced as a worldwide pandemic and a global shutdown. The pandemic had an impact on everyone's and day to day lives. Businesses were shut down, and the healthcare field underwent drastic events throughout the pandemic. Like everyone else, Jacqlyn Brown, Christina Janowski, and Marylana Jamarco have been affected by the pandemic in some way and have shared their lives.
According to the NY Post, 6,283 lives were lost due to covid, which made it the No.2 cause of death statewide.
In October 2020, I interviewed Brown to discuss what it's like working in the healthcare field during such a crucial time. She shared that since Schoellkopf had been exposed to covid with several cases, residents had a decline in health, there was a staff shortage, and residents and workers have had a tough time adjusting to precautions.
Amid covid, everyone walked on a thin line of how to operate and take precautions to stay safe. Being in a rehabilitation center is tough, and due to covid, life got put on pause. "The residents, all of their activities are cut. They can't visit their families like they used to. Their families used to come up and celebrate birthdays and holidays, affecting them in a major way. When it first started, they used Skype. Then they found out that it's spreading the virus".
At its peak, covid was a scary and confusing time. Life as we knew it had changed, family dinners and holidays became awkward, but being safe was the best route.
Christina Janowski, the store manager of Adidas, talks about how much covid impacted her professional and personal life. "The Adidas store was set to open up in the Fashion Outlets mall in April 2020; however, everyone's onboarding was shut down on March 12, 2020, and the new location didn't officially open until," says Janowski.
Fortunately for Marylana Jamarco, her experience with covid was slightly different compared to other people. She says, "I was lucky to have a job that paid me throughout the pandemic." Thankfully, Jamarco didn't catch covid and didn't have to deal with any deaths, like many other families were experiencing at the time.
Jacqlyn Brown caught the virus just a little while after the first few cases were announced in the United States. She says the pandemic has been a very eye-opening experience from both a work and family perspective.
"I had to quarantine for 14 days in my room; it showed me who cared for me and my family".
Although the peak of covid was stressful and emotional, it allowed Brown to be closer to her family and value their time together.
Unlike Brown, Janowski did not have the same experience with her family, "I spent Christmas and New Year by myself locked in my room."
Some people were fortunate enough to be surrounded by families during such a critical time, others not so lucky. However, covid has had a worldwide impact and taught people valuable lessons.
Jamarco says the most valuable lesson she learned from covid is to not take life for granted; the pandemic helped her open her eyes to how quickly life can change.
Nearly three years later, the world is seemingly repairing itself after the impact of the pandemic. The critical question is, what is happening with covid right now? "Deaths from Covid-19 in the United States are the lowest since March 2020, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention's data tracker" (NY Times).
"I am confident that this year will be able to say that COVID-19 is over as a public health emergency of international concern," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organization, says.
At the height of the pandemic, public safety measures and preventions were put in place that should have been a thing in society. Clothing shops implemented rules for workers to wipe down counters after each customer, wear gloves during cash transactions, and, most importantly, stay home while sick.
Unfortunately, society is designed for the working class to do just that. Sometimes it becomes hard to care for yourself and return to health. But with Covid, the nation saw something different. We saw people being given the proper time to recover and jobs providing health benefits.
Being able to show that you care and trying with an issue that affects the world is generous and may even help save a life.
Now as the world navigates back to life before Covid, as a society, we can only hope that people continue to practice the health measures that were introduced during Covid. It may be a battle, but it is much better than living life every day with a worldwide pandemic.
Brown says valuing time with her loved ones and being mindful of others' health was the most important and valuable information she learned from this pandemic. She says that if Covid taught her a couple of things, it would be patience and learning to enjoy the moment with those around you.
As I have recently interviewed Brown on her experience with Covid, she tells me that she is passionate about her job as a frontline worker at Schoellkopf, and she hopes to keep nursing people back to health and make them feel good. Brown is grateful to be a part of a community willing to help people return from an illness stronger than ever. For that, she is proud to have the job she has.
This is a Niagara University student-created piece completed as part of the course CMS 226A. For more information, contact the Niagara Frontier Publications’ managing editor.