Life During Quarantine 13: COVID- 19 and Families

The world as we know it has changed and so has family. My family lives in another state, Texas. Known for its open spaces, hot summers, and storms. I worry every time there is a big one since all my family is in one place. During the early stages of COVID, they were all home together, working, going to school. I was alone in my usually cozy studio. I had never really been at home there, for the two years I had lived there.  Suddenly two months I didn’t leave home, was not quiet any hour of the day, smokers nearby so difficult to keep the windows open. I began to feel unhappy and confined so when my lease was up for renewal, the Pandemic had me moving mid-May to another unit. More air, more light, I am feeling so much better. With the start of Fall, I thought I would see what is going on with families. People are still working from home; many kids are still doing at-home education. I will be curious to see what I find.

One of the most respected research firms, Pew had a few observations.” As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise and schools, workplaces and public gathering spaces across the United States remain closed, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that the coronavirus outbreak is having profound impacts on the personal lives of Americans in a variety of ways. Nearly nine-in-ten U.S. adults say their life has changed at least a little because of the COVID-19 outbreak, including 44% who say their life has changed in a major way.”

“These are among the findings of a Pew Research Center survey of 11,537 U.S. adults conducted March 19-24, 2020, using the Center’s American Trends Panel.1 Other key findings from the survey include:

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they feel comfortable proceeding with a variety of activities despite the coronavirus outbreak.

For example, 69% of Republicans and people who lean toward the GOP say they would be comfortable visiting with a close friend or family member at their home, compared with 55% of Democrats and Democratic leaners. Along these same lines, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say their lives have changed in a major way as a result of the virus, and that they have been feeling psychological distress.

Compared with older Americans, young adults are more likely to say they are comfortable going to a crowded party, a restaurant, or a small gathering with close family or friends.

Still, most adults under 30 say they are uncomfortable eating out at a restaurant (73%) or going to a crowded party (87%). Young adults are more likely than their elders to say they have used a food delivery service due to the outbreak.

Concerns about public activities and changes to personal lives have been felt more acutely in states with higher numbers of COVID-19 cases. For instance, 51% of those living in highly impacted states say their lives have changed in a major way, compared with 40% of those in states with the lowest numbers of cases.”

That was interesting and I thought I would see what was going on in the American family unit. Surprisingly, we found that sheltering-in-place hasn’t been a huge inconvenience for families. 66 percent of families report that sheltering-in-place has been moderately or slightly inconvenient, while only 26 percent reporting it being very or extremely inconvenient. Nine percent shared that it hasn’t been inconvenient at all.

More than 1.5 billion students are out of school. Widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families are likely to increase rates of child labor, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. Stresses on families, particularly those living under quarantines and lockdowns, are increasing the incidence of domestic violence. As the global death toll from COVID-19 increases, large numbers of children will be orphaned and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

 The next study I look into broached the subject of childcare, mind you this was at the beginning, but it still disturbs me just how much working parents with small children have had to totally change their world. I had clients I have been working with, both working from home, children under 12, the only time we could exchange emails was around 10 pm, after they went to bed. I try to put myself in their shoes. Working in the Pandemic is stressful in itself, activities most use to mitigate stress are greatly reduced, so please be compassionate.

The pandemic has brought new concerns for those deliberating whether to grow their families. It has to be something to prepare for and there is much uncertainty in the lives of those considering children. Some concerns is being in a hospital during this time.

Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims.  All children, of all ages, and in all countries, are being affected by the socio-economic impacts.

Mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good.  This is a universal crisis, and, for some children, the impact will be lifelong. Moreover, the harmful effects of this pandemic will not be distributed equally. They are expected to be most damaging for children in the poorest countries, and in the poorest neighborhoods, and for those in already disadvantaged, or invulnerable situations.

It will be eye-opening to see just how school districts, families, and workplaces manage the transition back to the education system.  I hope to cover this ever-changing topic in my next articles. If you have a suggestion you can send an email to [email protected]  or contact me directly on this link. Thanks, and stay safe.


Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
I took the less-traveled roads which led to many careers. Each of these contributed to my unique mix of expertise: science research, teaching, food, art, and textiles. Owning and operating my own businesses (a bakery, a gallery, and a consulting business) thrust me into the driver seat of learning many diverse roles from customer service to public relations and resulted in my unique management style. Participating in the creation of startups, working in design, and my own businesses and technology endeavors. My quest for knowledge and seeking out the best has turned me into a networking enthusiast. A lifelong passion for textiles and Persian rugs taught me an array of professional skills such as research, writing, and community events. Networking resulted in a multitude of business opportunities. My experiences include Management, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Design, Descriptive Writing, Business Strategy, Color, and Textiles. Every facet of my work and life comes together like pieces of a puzzle. I strive to be a phenomenal networker and problem solver who continues to learn and grow.

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