Being a Student Parent During Corona

Written By Makeet Finch

   On March 16, I took my daughter to an appointment at The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center because her info needed to be updated for blood work, height, and weight. As we were approaching the clinic, I saw police cars and the clinic appeared crowded. I second guessed going in. I was immediately given a paper that asked if me or my daughter had any symptoms related to COVID-19. I checked no. I practiced social distancing and only took my daughter out for early mornings on the boardwalk. I was told to stand in line with many others wearing face masks and gloves. I watched staff constantly spray pens down with Lysol. 


   When we finally got in the room, my one-year-old started screaming. I ended up taking her temperature, followed the same procedure for myself, and sanitized my hands. We were told we could proceed into the building and the pounding in my heart started to fade as we left the crowded area. 


   My work schedule has changed drastically, going down to one day per week, as well as losing hours due to lack of foot traffic in the store. I received constant email updates that said Banana Republic would close at 7 pm and anyone scheduled outside of that time frame would be compensated. On March 18, I received an updated email saying the store will be closed as of March 19. Employees would be paid for two weeks and we were advised to download an app called “Zipline”  to follow up for updates but they had no plans on when they would open. 


   I felt my heart drop because I have a one-year-old. A box of Pampers is 45 dollars and if jobs are closing, income stops. I immediately called my boyfriend and he said we would be alright financially and confirmed both of his places of business were still open and not cutting hours.


   I immediately began to search for size four Pampers in our local supermarket. At that point it didn’t matter, and I settled with size five. Although it would be a bigger size, I would have some type of security. I searched Buy Buy Baby, BJ’s, Target, Costco, CVS, you name it. I’ve looked in stores and online. People are buying because they are panicking, so someone like me who only works one day a week and is getting paid bi-weekly couldn’t afford to pick up a box of Pampers for 45 dollars. 


This week has felt uncertain and I have not felt like that since my mother passed in 2013.


    I’m finding a new routine until the end of the semester: staying up till 3 am to make sure I study for midterms that were postponed, setting my alarm to 7 am so I can have a head start before my daughter wakes up, and ultimately finding time to get back to my work if she decides to go down for a nap. A mother’s job is never done.


   My boyfriend eased my mind making it to BJ’s before clocking in and making sure he picked up Pampers and wipes to hold us for a month, as well as a few smaller packs so I could continue to practice social distancing but remain aware that there are others who may need Pampers so buying as we need. This pandemic has shown how selfish people can be in a very trying time when we should be sticking together. I’ve seen people fight over toilet tissue or a place standing in line. 

   School has always been my outlet to escape the real world no matter how much was on my plate. I figured out a routine being a mom, and no matter how early my day started, Brooklyn College has always been there. 


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