My partner and I have lived in Washington, DC with zero cars for the past five years. We've purposely designed our life to be car-free. Some people call us crazy, but we have our reasons.
To say that 2020 was a difficult year is an understatement. I have been more fortunate than some in that I didn't lose most of my income, I stayed healthy, I never worried about losing my housing, and, as far as I know, I never contracted the novel coronavirus. However, it has not been an easy year. My profession is prone to high turnover due to burn out - we tend to give too much without taking care of ourselves - and in the midst of a pandemic this rang all the truer. The constant go go go of helping others with their needs, combined with my anxiety and depression, made for some difficult days during the last 14 months.
It had been 10 months since we had seen my family, and with the holidays coming up the thought of waiting another year or two to see anyone in person was becoming more and more of a sad reality. I talked it over with my family and found a middle ground that worked for all of us. We decided to rent a car and drive to see my family in outdoor-only settings while booking lodging in a hotel. When we arrived, the outdoors-only and always-masking policy we all had agreed on prior to the trip fell apart almost immediately.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic I worked a full-time job in healthcare and several part-time jobs, including those in pet care and tourism. However, since the pandemic travel has come to an abrupt halt, meaning the tourism business has all but dried up. This also holds true for pet care, as most people are only in need of pet care when they're out of their homes either travelling or working; the pandemic has essentially negated both of these conditions. Once the COVID-19 pandemic began I saw my average monthly income drop by 15%. Realizing I had to pivot my financial mindset and change course, I attempted a number of other opportunities to make money. Spoiler alert: I didn't do so great.
As much as I would love to write blog posts about my recent trip to Mexico City or any other number of fun topics, there's pretty much one thing on my mind these days: the COVID-19 pandemic. I wrote about my experiences thus far during the pandemic here, but I wanted to focus now on what can be done on an individual-level.
COVID-19 has been on my mind a lot these past weeks, as it likely has been on the minds of others. In order to process, I wrote of my own experiences - losing a job, being a health care worker, seeing firsthand the detriment it has caused some.