Letters From Home: 'I Was Surprised How Infectious My Joy Was'

Aug 12, 2020

WOSU's Letters from Home is collecting stories about our day-to-day lives during the coronavirus pandemic. This week, we heard from Ohioans who shared reflections on decisions they've made in light of COVID-19. 

Melinda Sims from Grove City

On the eve of my 50th birthday, I made the decision to end my gym membership and continue my exercise regiment in the great outdoors. The decision was a difficult one, because I have been so accustomed to getting the majority of my exercise at the local gyms over the years. COVID-19 moved me outside.

As soon as the pandemic started, I began walking outside seven days a week. To my delight, a friend of mine joined me twice a week during the quarantine days. Our regular walks provided at least some sense of time that I had lost, and they offered a welcomed break from endless work hours spent Zooming and computing.

Starting in July, with the arrival of my birthday bike, I began exploring Fryer Park in Grove City and Scioto Audubon Metro Park with regular early morning or late evening bike rides. I felt like a kid again – pure joy! The heavy traffic in Columbus and in Phoenix where we used to live had discouraged me from seriously riding on the roads over the last 20 years. Thankfully, my current vehicle has room for me to place my entire bicycle in the back end and drive to any bike trails I want now.

As I shared the news of my new hobby with others, I was surprised how infectious my joy was. A colleague at work said she was inspired by my biking adventures. She purchased a bicycle for herself and her husband. My walking partner has plans to have her basement bike serviced so that she can join me on the trails. My brother from Virginia also heard about my new "biking life" and he is considering dusting off his old one and finding some trails in his area.

The only holdout so far is my husband. He bought the bike for me, now I just need him to buy one for himself and ride with me.

David Korn from Columbus

On March 23, I had to remove my computer and other equipment, client files – almost everything I needed daily for my work – and set up a home office. I didn't know how long I was to be away from the office, then. I had been thinking that work from home would allow me to segue into the next phase of life, reduced work hours, and more relaxed life, and that the quarantine period would give me and my wife a taste of things to come.

The thought crept into my mind that this move was the precursor for semi-retirement (whatever that is). This is no precursor: This is the real thing. I have terminated my lease of downtown office space and now work from home.

I think it is beneficial. There are pleasant surroundings, the opportunity to relax at home (even take a nap), and ability to go back to the office at night and on weekends if necessary without taking off my slippers.

Susan Brandon from Westerville

We decided to homeschool our youngest daughter for her 1st grade year. She loves school, but she understands that school is going to be a little different for a while, and she is looking forward to field trips to the zoo and the wonderful metro and Delaware County park systems we have to enjoy.

We are taking our first field trip this month to the wind farm near Bowling Green. My husband is working from home for an undetermined amount of time. I’m so excited about his work situation because I love the help he provides with the children and the household. I also enjoy the coffee dates!

Anonymous from Columbus

I've decided to start a business, but it hasn't taken off as well as I'd hoped. Things are really tight right now as they canceled my unemployment. I owe them $5,400 because I reported I worked for an hour because the company I had worked for, and planned to go back to, was sold.

Long story short, I have nobody to help out, so when schools and daycares closed, I lost my job. With the virus spreading like crazy I don't feel safe for myself or daughter, so decided it was time to start my greenhouse. Just hoping and praying it takes off soon.

Whetstone Park at sunset.
Credit Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU Public Media

This week, Letters From Home continues asking the question: Have you contracted COVID-19? What would you like to share about your experience?

Answer this question using the form below, and try to keep below 1,000 words. Your response may be edited for length and clarity.

WOSU brings you Letters from Home in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art.