Arapahoe County

COVID-19's impact: Voices from the community

Posted 4/7/20

“When you don't know if you could be carrying it and you don't know how soon symptoms could show up, it's just kind of an unsettling feeling. We have three neighbors in their 80s and others in …

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Arapahoe County

COVID-19's impact: Voices from the community

Posted

Wendy Sternitzky, 37.
Wendy Sternitzky, 37.
“When you don't know if you could be carrying it and you don't know how soon symptoms could show up, it's just kind of an unsettling feeling. We have three neighbors in their 80s and others in their 60s and we told them we would be happy to get things for them but how do I know I'm not carrying it?” 

— Wendy Sternitzky, 37, Centennial, home-schools her kids

Ibsen
Ibsen
"It was a difficult decision to close. We could have tried to mold ourselves into the “essential business” definition, but we want to stay true to our ideals, which includes supporting a thriving community... People need gas and groceries. They don't need flowers... My main goal is to take care of my store, my staff and my community in one fell swoop. Right now, I can't do any of those. For now, I hope people stay home and enjoy gardening and enjoy their families. We'll see you all as soon as we can, and let's pray this never happens again."

— Chris Ibsen, 56, Littleton, general manager of Littleton's O'Toole's Garden Center

Claypool
Claypool
"I haven't seen my grandkids in a month. I miss human touch — shaking hands, touching someone on the shoulder. But it's for the best. Those of us who remember polio know. In Iowa, where I'm from, old folks remember when they would put ladders up against the children's hospital so they could see their kids in iron lungs. For those of us who grew up in small towns, we were used to social isolation. There was nothing to do but ride your bikes or go sit by the creek. I hope this experience is a two-by-four upside our heads that we need to take care of Mother Nature and each other."

— Tawana Claypool, 64, Centennial

Bigelow
Bigelow
"I've been living on the streets since August. I went broke from medical bills and lost my apartment. Recently I've been living at a women's shelter. There are about 60 of us there, and they're not allowing visitors now. Usually every week there's a lottery for who gets to keep their beds. Then on Monday, they told us if we're in now, we get to keep our spots until they lift the stay-at-home order. I couldn't believe it. I was thrilled. I have a place to ride this out. Personally I think homeless folks might have better immunity to coronavirus. We get exposed to all kinds of things that someone who works in an office and goes home to an air-conditioned house never would."

— Terry Bigelow, 60, Littleton

Jadyn Neumann
Jadyn Neumann
"We've gone all online, and I think for a teacher, it has been a lot of changing our whole entire lives almost and curriculum and the way we teach. For kids too, just knowing how it has impacted my students. They don't get that kid to kid social interaction or the safety of school where sometimes, that is their safe place to get away from home. For me, it has been a whole entire shift for my life and my job. It has been difficult at (Movement 5280) too because I volunteer here everyday. You see the impact it has on the community that sometimes you don't think about, like the homeless. These people don't have anywhere to go."

— Jadyn Neumann, 24, third-grade teacher, volunteer for Englewood-based Movement 5280

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