It’s been about a month now since Governor Northam closed Virginia’s schools (initially for only two weeks) and suggested we all stay home. Many of us have done so, carving out offices in the basement or at the kitchen table, finding the gallery view button on Zoom, and attempting to create a rhythm to days that seem endless as the borders between home, work, and school have disappeared. It may be chaotic, or tedious, but it’s safe.
A lot of people, however, don’t have the luxury of working remotely. From the doctors, nurses, and paramedics caring for those who are infected, to the cleaners, mechanics, and cafeteria employees keeping our hospitals running smoothly, locals are stepping up and potentially putting themselves at risk to help keep the rest of us safe. Outside of hospitals, too, there’s an army of workers still showing up to supply our community with essential services, from grocery store employees to bus drivers, food pantry workers to homeless shelter staff. In this issue, we talked to nine of them to see how their jobs have changed, what they’re worried about, and how they cope.
Also in this issue, we’re continuing to cover some of the more mundane aspects of life at home, from how to make a doctor’s appointment (when you don’t have COVID-19), to how you can still support local shops and restaurants, and even what to do about your hair. It’s going to be a long spring. As paramedic Erik Bailey told us, “take care of each other the best you can.”