How Raleigh Residents are Adapting to COVID-19

By Matthew Merino

Streets that were once flowing with constant traffic are now void of vehicles, grocery store’s peak hours have completely changed due to the increased demand for food and supplies, and public areas such as parks are closed.

COVID-19 has proven to be one of the most impactful events in recent history, changing the way people in society go about their lives in almost every way. This has a ripple effect on other parts of society. In  Raleigh, gas prices have dipped to as low as $1.80 as a result of the shelter-in-place order.

There are a lot of changes, but what is important is how society manages to adapt to them.

Claire Watson, a homemaker for her family of six who lives in Raleigh, has shared some of her experience in adapting to a new way of living.

“It’s just one of those things where, I know it sounds cliche, but just taking one day at a time,” said Watson. “And just knowing that each day you’re doing the best you can, and that no one has been through this before is important.”

One way Watson has been adapting is through adjusting the amount of times she visits the grocery store, despite having a bigger family to feed.  She used to go to the grocery store twice a week, but now she has been limiting herself to one visit a week.

In addition to this change, Watson has also had to help her children adjust to a new learning environment with the shift to online classes. This comes with its own challenges.

“In the beginning it was kind of challenging managing who gets to go when, but after a couple weeks into it, I feel like it’s a little bit more predictable,” said Watson.

While this new way of living has certainly presented challenges, Watson believes that there are positives that can be focused on to help through these times.

“I love spending all this extra time with my family,” Watson said. “My hope is that other people will see that slowing things down and having more simplicity in their lives is a really good thing.”

Robbie Casey, a William Peace University junior studying sports and exercise psychology, shares this ideology with Watson that there are indeed positives that come out of this situation.

“Of course I wish the circumstances were different, but I really haven’t had a whole lot of free time since I started college,” Casey said.  “Being able to have that free time to play video games with some friends or just take some time with myself and my dog and just relax – that’s a luxury that I didn’t really have and haven’t had for a while.”

The silver lining of free time is one positive to look at, and there are many more positives to look at as well. What it comes down to is conditioning the mindset to look at the positives rather than the negatives, as this will help society continue to adapt efficiently to the ever-changing COVID-19.

In the end, it is very important to adopt this mindset during the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is easy to focus on the negatives, taking on a positive mindset similar to Watson and Casey can make this situation less stressful on the body and mind, and ultimately lead to a healthier society as a whole. 

Picture taken by Caitlin Richards

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