Coronavirus is being a worldwide phenomenon, but it does not affect us in the same way. This is the experience from a quaint little river town from California.
The impact of Coronavirus is unprecedented in our most recent history, it has forced us all to adapt and combat it. Each country, each family, each person, each professional is living this experience in a different way, so from Swap Family we want to know how we are facing this moment, how it is changing our society and what we can learn from all this.
For this reason, we start a new section within our blog, with interviews to families and professionals from different fields.
Through this post, we are going to travel to California, by the hand of Janeth.
We interviewed Janeth, a Spanish teacher in California.
Hi Janeth, many thanks for accepting this interview. Can you please introduce yourself in order to know a little more about you?
I’m Janeth, I’m from Colombia and I moved to the US to marry my husband in 2009. We have no kids and I was a pre-school teacher in Colombia so I worked for four years as one in the US. It was then that started to reevaluate my calling and my role here in the US with my teaching skills. I decided to start my own business, tutoring Spanish to children and adults. As my English improved so did my confidence and that led to my decision to teach Spanish to Americans.
Where are you living now?
I live in Petaluma California, with my husband of 11 years.
Petaluma is a quaint little river town, far removed from the city I love, San Francisco even though as a big city, it’s a bit crazy. It’s 50 minutes north of San Francisco and 45 minutes from the wine country of Napa Valley.
I live in Petaluma, a small and quaint river town 50 minutes from San Francisco.
Oh, what a nice place!
How are you living this Pandemic Coronavirus in Petaluma?
We follow the Pandemic rules by pretty much staying inside and when we do go out we wear masks in public places. The percentage of people affected by the virus is relatively low in our area but we’re looking forward to getting out more freely, especially to go to the beach. We do our shopping just like we did before, usually once or twice a week in our favorite stores but we try to stay out of the large stores. We don’t shop online.
In our area, the percentage of those affected by the Coronavirus is relatively low, even so we follow the confinement rules.
What is different, now, in your live since the Coronavirus?
What has changed is that I’m not able to meet my students in the local coffee shop or at their homes so I meet with them online or on the phone.
We miss the opportunity to visit my family in Colombia since the flights are pretty much shut down and even if there were flights available, I wouldn’t feel safe getting on an airplane; I do meet with my family on Skype or Whatsapp.
As a teacher of Spanish, how the Coronavirus has altered your work?
Like everyone else I do most of my visiting online via Facetime or Skype. Some of my client are willing to continue meeting online but other ones are waiting until things return to some kind of normal. That has made my business decrease a lot.
Skype, Facetime… Now I work online
How do you feel teaching in that way?
I mostly enjoy the changes and I try to make the best of every day and enjoy the online classes with my students.
How are your students dealing this situation?
Everyone seems to deal with the challenges of Coronavirus in different ways; some are overwhelmed and others are adapting well. My online students are liking the changes.
What do you think about the future? Will it change the way we live in different fields? What implications do you think it will have?
In the future I think we’re going to have to adapt in ways we don’t even know yet, especially in the ways we interact in person. Getting back to normal won’t be normal like before because things will be very different, like travel, shopping, etc.
Normal life will no longer be like before.
What is the key positive learning that you get from this situation generated from Coronavirus?
I have learned how to discover different ways to relate to people online, with my students and friends and family. For example, I have begun taping poems I memorized growing up as a kid and that has been fun, especially since I’m thinking of publishing them on Youtube and in podcasts.
How interesting Janeth! I look forward to hearing it.
And the last question, what is the first thing you will do when all this happens?
The first thing I’m going to do when the pandemic is declared over is take my mask off and learn to recognize my friends again! Lol!