Times in Isolation - Covid-19 Pandemic Interview Series

Why I chose this project:

I noticed a little while ago that I had yet to see a comprehensive compilation of people’s experiences during the pandemic. It has tried and tested us each in such specific and unique ways while also existing as a global phenomenon. I thought it might be interesting to gather and hear some insights from people and the lessons they’ve learned from isolation, social distancing, and all the other experiences in these times. I’m specifically interested in the lessons we’ve learned from all this time we’ve had to spend alone; the good and the bad. When I’ve heard my friends talk about what they’ve been through, it helped me feel a little less alone—it reminded me that what I’m experiencing, so many others are as well. The pandemic created something which will bind our generation together forever. I hope that sharing stories and lessons we have learned will help us all feel a little less alone, and bring us together to see how much we’ve had to grow and evolve during this time.

A time with Kylee Miller, a freshman, residing in Bath, NY.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is what I need to do to be healthy; physically, mentally, and emotionally.” Miller is a pre-med student thinking of becoming an OB-GYN. When the pandemic started, she was finishing up her last year of high school. Before the pandemic, “I was going, going, going,” Miller said. She had no time to really reflect on her life, she explained. With all the time that was suddenly mandated, Miller started to think about what she actually enjoyed doing, rather than just what she had to do. “I used to not be aware of what made me feel good, or what was a good influence, it just was.” Said Miller.

Miller started out small. “I realized I need to go for a walk and get outside if I want to feel good for a day…I realized social media is a distraction and I don’t think it’s a good influence on my mental health.” Once she realized these things, she explained that she’s really tried to implement them or erase them from her life. Miller also commented on how being home really affected her emotionally and mentally. “Having to be at home with my family made me see issues that I hadn’t really examined before, and we all had to come together and work them out.” Unlike before the pandemic, one couldn’t simply leave the house and escape from the issues within, for better or for worse. Miller is someone who did see it as a positive in her case. If she hadn’t worked things out with her parents then, when would she have?

Throughout the interview, it was impressive to see someone remain so positive about this situation. Miller, in any other year, would have had a high school graduation ceremony, and a move-in day at college, but she didn’t get to experience these things. She worked all summer and decided to live at home and do school remotely. Yet, she did the best she could during these unprecedented times and is thankful overall for the time she was given. “Oh, and I also learned I love to cook, so that’s been nice.”

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