Nancy’s Story

I work for a big box retailer. I heard the warnings from health experts last March and took them seriously right away. I learned to make a mask from a bandana and began wearing one every day. The pandemic was far away from us geographically and from where I stood, not enough were taking the warnings seriously. Mask wearing made you the odd one out and social distancing was ignored.

“This is just a flu.”

“I don’t believe in wearing masks.”

“It’s a mandate, not a law.”

I watched as the pandemic hit the area. Numbers of the infected climbed. Hospital beds were scarce. The news said that if you have a heart attack they may not have room for you.

“The CDC is being told to revise their numbers – they are exaggerating cause of death.”

Thanksgiving comes along. Socially distanced holiday means no get togethers, no happy hours, no tree lighting ceremonies – at least not for us. I watch on social media as people ignore the experts yet again and gather.

“My 80 year old grandmother is positive but her only symptom is that she sleeps A LOT but that’s normal – it’s winter.”

Christmas means online church services, mailing packages, zoom calls – for us. Still, people ignore the recommendations from scientists. They visit family and go shopping for Black Friday sales.

Conemaugh adds a temporary outdoor morgue for the potential overflow.

-Nancy M., Johnstown