I wanted a way to connect with my friends and family while staying safe and keeping our distance, so I decided to photograph them from the outside looking in. I also wanted to give people a space to express how they are feeling about this pandemic and being quarantined, so I asked everyone a few short questions to answer as they felt fit.
What are you feeling during this time? How is this effecting you personally? How has this pandemic effected your job and/or schooling? If you haven’t been working, what have you been filling your time with? Are you able to do things you normally don’t have time for?
I wanted to know how this was effecting everyone personally, their jobs, schooling, what are people doing with their time. I tried to get a range of situations, from people still working, those who were laid off, business owners, kids working on school from home, teachers and musicians to see the range of effects on our community. Some people were more responsive than others, but I found some are being affected much more than others.
Suzanne Schnettler Palatine Bridge, NY S: “Not much has changed for me during this pandemic. I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home. I do miss the socialization with my co-workers though, so at times I do feel lonely working from home. “ S: “I’m not getting any extra projects done at home since I spend most of the day working. I have been making masks in my spare time to hand out to people.”
Nick Jordan + Marissa Breault Cherry Valley, NY N: “I guess I would say that I am having lots of mixed feelings about what’s going on right now. I mean, generally speaking, I sit painfully in the middle on lots of issues.” N: “I’m back in college for wildlife and fishery techniques right now. This is a very hands on course of study, so “distance learning” is a struggle. My other half is working from home, so we have each other and our dogs, so there is a silver lining.” N: “We’ve been fishing and doing lots of outdoor activities when the weather will allow, I plan on hunting turkeys no different than I ever would. There are lots of perks to living in the country, being away from lots of people and the type of panic that can bring is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Jack Loewenguth + Mikala Gallo Oneonta, NY M: “This time has surfaced many different feelings for both of us. I think from the beginning of this all, I’d say late February to now, we’ve experienced drastic change in our ideologies on how to approach the current situation. It has been a constant shift over months of confusion and sometimes chaos. However, this pause has been a welcomed break in many ways; the time and space to reflect as well as relax at moments has also been soothing and helpful. That’s not to say we don’t feel the intense frustration and unease this all has created for our community. We also feel thankful and fortunate that we can stay home with our pup.” M: “This pandemic has forced both of us to stay home. Jack works at a gym which has been mandated to be closed until further notice, without pay. I (Mikala), have been home since March 17th and I am still receiving pay. I’m supposed to return to work May 15th, though it has been pushed back at least 3 times. We both agree that one of the most challenging pieces to this all is the unknown of when things will shift into a more socially “open” phase.” M: “We’ve been spending a lot of time cooking, watching shows/movies, hiking, playing super smash bro’s, creating art, and crying. It’s been a stew of everything really.”
Elizabeth Raphelson (Owner of The Underground Attic) Oneonta, NY E: “I am feeling quite literally everything during this time. Rollercoaster doesn’t begin to describe it. I feel thankful for my privilege, I feel sorry for the loss of so many people, I miss some of the things I do regularly that make me happy; I feel determined to make this time special.” E: “This pandemic has meant my brick and mortar shop is closed. Same with my boyfriend who has a shop right next door. This is of course very scary, but I’m trying to do as much as I can with online sales and hope that I come out the other side having improved my business.” E: “I am working, but during free time have been reading, exercising and doing creative activities like dancing and music!”
Evan Jagels Hartwick, NY E: “I’ve been missing the varieties of human interaction and realizing the importance of a positive perspective. For example, isolation can be negative and daunting, while solitude can be contemplative and productive. Knowing that the whole world is in this together has been comforting too.” E: “Innovation comes out of necessity and as an educator, this has forced me to adopt new methods of instruction and assessment. Some of these I will take with me when we return to the classroom. However, over half of my income comes from performing. Separate from the income, making music for and with people has such immensely positive social and emotional benefits that I am deeply missing. It’s largely who I am, and that has been suspended indefinitely.” E: “My biggest hobby are things that move. Luckily, I was able to order a lot of parts during the onset of everything and I have gotten a lot of work done on my motorcycles and my van. I am a bit of a gym rat, swimmer, and rock climber and have been finding new ways to stay active and exercise using what I have on my property. I’ve also been spending more time doing visual art, and, of course, practicing music and collaborating with friends and colleagues all over the world on some fun and interesting music projects.”
Lorry O’Brien Dubois + Jackson Dubois Westville, NY J: “I feel incredibly grateful to be hunkered down at a high point in my life, it could have happened at any time. I feel sadness for what the world is going through and that feels emotionally raw at times.” J: “I am working from home. It’s been a bit of a challenge, many of my coworkers are laid off and that feels like a big responsibility.” J: “I imagined having lots of time to work in the garden or on my house, but it really requires fairly strict time management to get anything done. I see the amount of work that this old place would have required as a farm without engines and primitive machinery.”
Josh Cornish Milford, NY J: “I feel that isolation has been difficult because I like to socialize at SUCO with classmates and professors. I think the thing I miss most of all is hanging with friends although I have had a lot of board game nights recently, which have helped during the quarantine. I feel as though this has shown me that I could not take online classes and could not have done it without my professors.” J: “Seem to have taken on more homework as the semester ended, which made it slightly more difficult but with my last final in the books I am glad to say the semester is over. I think that this has been difficult for both the students and the professors, but everyone has been virtually helpful through zoom in order to finish the semester. I have been fortunate too for having amazing classmates that have been able to be great support throughout this spring semester.” J: “I have been filling my time with movies and great tv shows like Westworld. Most of the musicians I follow on Spotify have been busy putting out singles and new albums, which has been amazing for me. I have now been able to start planting earlier and have been able to get my garden ready and seedlings planted in our sunroom.”
Katie + Dede Yerdon Milford, NY K: “During this time I am feeling uncertain, not knowing what the near future holds. I wonder if what was considered normal will ever be normal again in society. Personally, this has not affected me too much other than not seeing people I would see on a daily basis.” K: “My job has been very cautious during this pandemic. Luckily, I have the opportunity to work from home and few days. I am also in school however my classes are online, so the pandemic did not affect my semester or future classes.” K: “The extra time I have throughout the day I have spent going through belongings downsizing. Being that I only have one semester left to finish my degree, I have been thinking about where I would like to adventure off and start a career. I been searching places of employment and housing in different areas down south.” D: “My feelings during this time could be described as changing. As each day comes and goes there has been so many changes to my emotional being. So many reasons for feelings to change at any given moment. Stay positive, believe, have faith, and love myself is what I need at this moment. Personally the effects on me, I feel so blessed to have my family and friends who are there for me when tears may flow, questions to be asked, looking for answers, just need a smile and encouraging words to help us survive whatever may come our way. My personal care for myself defineitly could be better. I truly try to find the good in everything.” D: “This pandemic has affected my working world by putting not only a financial burdon on me but also emotional. I am retired from being a teachers aid but continued my love for children by doing daycare. I also house clean for people. With social distancing I am unable to make money and enjoy the children.” D: “I am taking this time to do major downsizing in my home. I must admit I’m thankful for having this time to go through and give things away to good homes. I’ve been taking time to reach out to others to check in with them. Let them know I care, and we are in this together. I’m ready for some normal to return to our lives again.”
Molly Myers + Carl Loewenguth Westville, NY M: “I have been an emotional rollercoaster over the past few weeks. At the beginning of the quarantine I was feeling scared and lonely from the lack of socialization, but now I feel like my emotions have become somewhat numb and I don’t have a strong desire to socialize anymore. I think I have shut down a bit but have also adapted. “ M: “I am so fortunate to be able to work from home. Being a fundraiser and event planner for two museums, it has certainly made my job more challenging not knowing when or how our events might go on. The money I am able to raise for the museums directly impacts the staff having jobs, so it has been very stressful trying to continue to sensitively raise money while struggling with the trauma of this crisis personally.” M: “Although I am working from home, I have also been able to work on several projects around my house as my anxiety from the COVID-19 situation was making me want to be busy all the time. I appreciate that I have had this extra time at home to paint rooms, reorganize things, and plant some seeds for veggies.”
Sebastian, Kerstin, Zoe, + Toby Green Milford, NY K: “I am not dealing with this very well. Although I know that we are incredibly lucky by comparison because even hough we are quarantining we have space here to go outside, move, ride bikes, go for runs and walks with our dogs. We can even drive to our nearby state park and walk on the beach along a beautiful lake. Under these circumstances one would think that my mental health would be holding up, and rationally I feel as though it should. The reality is that I have been experiences severe anxiety attacks and worsening depression since schools were closed. The saying is, a parent is only as happy as their unhappiest child, and while my children are all healthy, they are all struggling with their own issues, depression, anxiety, uncertainty, and for a mother of 5 that means my own fears are compounded fivefold. Some days the anxiety seems out of control. Sunshine helps, and the past two days have been more manageable!” K: “I am director of a small private nursery school and kindergarten. We have been closed since Friday March 13th. It has been very difficult trying to maintain connections with the 25 children. I immediately started a YouTube channel and within 10 days I had uploaded 75 stories, songs, finger games and action games for the children, so that they can hear them and participate in all their favorites from home. I hold daily zoom meetings during which we sing together, the children can chat with one another, share their favorite toys, pictures and crafts they’re working on. I read them a book every day, we play action games together and do yoga to get them moving. I think they are enjoying the routine and familiarity of the content, but I can see in their eyes that they are confused and somewhat sad by the distance. It is very hard for me to realize that, but I think the half hour each day is better than losing the community altogether. I also zoom a few times a week with my kindergarten class and I have been dropping off weekly work packets at this houses every Sunday evening. I have been lending my families sanitized books, puzzles, toys and other resources from the school to help keep their children entertained at home.” K: “A couple of days ago, I was walking the dog and running through the endless list of things I could be doing, should be doing, should be glad to have time for, should be motivated to tackle, and questioning my utter inability to do anything. Then it struck me. I can’t do any of those other things, because I am not doing the ONE thing that I am MEANT to do. That I am made for. The one thing that energizes me, that keeps my heart pumping, makes me feel creative, purposeful, fulfilled, and that gives my life meaning. Without my children around me at Oak Hill, my days are hollow and feel meaningless. And when your days feel hollow and meaningless it’s very hard to read a book, dig a garden, craft, cook, you name it. Some might think, well all those other things would give your days meaning and purpose. Maybe so, but first I need to finish grieving the loss of all that I have spent my life building up and working on, which was there, under my nose 24/7/365 and now is gone.” Z: “I have been alternating between feeling overwhelmed and anxious and feeling positive and optimistic. Generally the weather has a large part to play in this, as the days that I am able to be outside in the sun I feel much better and forward looking.” Z: “I lost my job at the restaurant I worked at due to COVID and the rest of my graduate school program was moved online. I finish next week, but the lack of in person classes has taken the thrill of the end of my school career.” Z: “My finals and online classes have been filling my time. Outside of these, my brain has been exhausted and unable to focus on much else. I think that the anxiety and constant flood of news has taken up the rest of my brainpower.” T: “I’ve been feeling less stressed with school but more stressed with being unable to leave my house. The recent weather has helped with the cabin fever.” T: “The rest of my school year was cancelled. My classes have been moved online but teachers aren’t expecting as much from the students.” T: “I’ve been trying to pass time outside in the woods hiking and biking. When weather doesn’t permit, I try to be productive and clean or something else that can improve my state of living.”
Karla Andela + Josh Simpson Milford, NY K: “I’m feeling extremely grateful that I can work from home and have a safe and loving home environment. I love being home so much, with my husband, my garden, studio, pets and kitchen. There are days when I forget to reach out to friends and feel lonely and down about the current situation. I’m also super sad for those impacted personally by COVID-19.” K: “I am one of the few who still has a full-time job that I can do from home. It’s been tough to focus sometimes, but I’m getting better about maintaining a work schedule.” K: “We defiantly spend more time watching shows in the evening. I would normally feel guilty about it, but I don’t! I’m baking note bread- really learning the language of sourdough! I spend more time in the garden- it’s a wonderful time.” J: “I’ve been swinging between extremely worried about humanity and the future and extremely excited about humanity and the future. I’m hopeful that this pandemic will lead to folks creating better work life balance, connect more with people they love and to think in more global terms when it comes to how we need to take care of our planet. I have also felt supremely grateful that I have the privilege of working from home.” J: “I was on partial unemployment for 3 weeks and as of 4/27/2020 my company received PPP funding and I am full time again. This pandemic has made me start to re-evaluate my life goals and I am planning on returning to college.” J: “When I was working 3 days a week, I spent the other days reading books that I have been stacking up for years now. I have also been ripping through TV shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime at a steady clip. I’ve also taken the time to begin preparing our second building for a massive renovation that will include the creation of Karla’s pottery studio, a legit bathroom and a hangout space for me in the upstairs.”
Sarah Fanion + Jake Hanlon Cherry Valley, NY S: “I’m an incredibly work focused human. Staying home every day with no real commitments continues to be frustrating. Finding the motivation to do anything when I have a full 24 hours a day has been challenging. I miss my normal routine with work and friends. I especially miss the freedom to socialize with other people.” S: “I was laid off in Friday the 20th of March. I’m not sure when I will be able to return. Thankfully, unemployment has helped me keep up with rent and necessities.” S: “I started by paining almost every room in the apartment. Then tv. So much tv. I’ve watched more shows this month than I have in the past year. Since the weather has changed, I have been attempting to run.”, bike and exercise whenever I can. I haven’t done anything that I haven’t had the time for prior to quarantine. I was, however, able to accomplish all my organizational and home improvement projects in a very short stretch of time.”
Alyx Braunius Mt. Vision, NY A: “I’ve been feeling a bit anxious and trapped. I’m a home body but also feel lonely not being able to see friends, family or being able to go anywhere. And feeling scared of not knowing what is to come. “ A: ” I am currently working from home and distance learning online but living somewhere where I’m not able to get internet makes that all very difficult.” A: “Even though I’m working, I have a lot of extra time not driving and getting ready for work and I do a lot more yoga, meditation, nature walks/runs and I’m reading books for the first time in my life without it being require me for school!”
Carden, Kai, + Jessica Phillips Oneonta, NY C: “A little upset because I don’t get to graduate from 5th and do the fun end of year things that 5th graders normally do.” C: “It makes schooling harder because we don’t have teachers teaching how to do it… we are just expected to do work without much help.” C: “I am able to do things I don’t have time to do normally. I’m also able to do fun things that I want to do, like researching hamsters and playing ukulele. I like spending more time with my animals and family. I’m happy there is zoom and FaceTime so I can see friends.” K: “Bored, miss my friends, seems like more schoolwork than when we are in school.” K: “I don’t feel like I’m learning as well as before, do not like the zoom video classrooms.” K: “Video games, walks, started working with video editing online for fun.”
Milo Cowles, Elijah Rutledge, Jeremey Rutledge, + Melissa Sieffert Westville, NY J: “We have been feeling a general sadness during this time. Not only are we concerned about the spread of the virus, and the impact that it is having around the world, but we are struggling to adjust to the micro and macro changes everyone has had to make. Luckily, the worst thing to happen to us was our wedding being cancelled. We are missing the small things like going out to eat, seeing friends and family, and making plans for the future.” J: “Our schooling has gone virtual, which has been an adjustment as many of our classes have strong discussion components that are more difficult to orchestrate via Zoom. My work as a TA has given me insight into how undergrads are dealing with the changes and I am happy to see so much resilience in the face of great difficulty.” J: “When we are not doing schoolwork, we have been trying our hand at cooking new dishes, painting, and gardening. As the semester is coming to an end, and with the lack of usual distractions, we are finding ourselves with the time to reflect on life and ruminate on the future. We have also been talking to our families and friends much more, which has been a pleasant silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis.”
Molly Feulner + Andrew Yerdon Cherry Valley, NY M: “I have been feeling so many things during this time. Some days I feel productive at home and optimistic. Having more time to do things and not feel rushed to squeeze everything into one day is something I am grateful for during this. It is nice to have time to relax and work through this. Other days are harder, I feel bombarded with information about COVID-19 and everyone else’s feelings about the situation and things seem to spiral out of control quickly. I’m a major worry wart and easily fall into anxious cycles. I’m trying not to dwell on this and realize that this is temporary. I guess it’s safe to say I’ve felt a spectrum of feelings.” M: “Andrew and I work together as contractors and we have been able to do some small jobs outside for his mother who put her house up for sale just before the quarantine began. We haven’t been able to work regularly, but with savings and not spending as much money on things like gas and going out we’ve been able to manage the bills so far. School transitioned to online which hasn’t been hard, more disappointing honestly. For both classes it was important to be on campus and together in a classroom. I am taking Music of Film and was enjoying watching films together as a class and being able to discuss both music and film. It wasn’t the same experience having this class online. My film photography class had to be switched to digital images, but this project blossomed from that and I will be grateful to have this in the end. I hope that I gave some people a way to be a part of something during a time of isolation. Andrew and I must make a hard decision about what to do about our wedding that is planned for August. It won’t be what we originally had planned. M: “I’ve been trying to spend my time at home by focusing on my personal well-being mainly. We started doing Wim Hoff breathing exercises and cold showers as well as morning meditation, exercising in various ways, and trying to cook and bake more. I also love origami and have been making lots of that and considering trying to start a small business sell my pieces.” A: “During this time I am feeling a lot of things all at once it seems. The situation brings up strong emotions, both good and bad, mixed with uncertainty. I feel as though the quarantine has forced me to live and think more in the moment and I assume not knowing what the future has in store has initiated that.” A: “My Job as a contractor has been effected greatly in that I have not been able to work consistently for about a month. When I can work even the simplicity of getting materials has become something stressful and that alone has deterred me from taking on work.” A: “Since I haven’t been working, I’ve been able to fill my life with a lot the things I truly enjoy doing as well as learning and practicing new things such as meditation. I’ve been practicing drums and guitar more than ever. I’ve been able ride Mountain Bike everyday which has been something I was only able to do before or after a full day of work or on the weekend.”
Michael Feulner Cherry Valley, NY
Jackie Hull (Owner of A Rose Is A Rose) Cherry Valley, NY
Ian Feulner Cherry Valley, NY
I hope you all enjoy this project and continue to stay happy and healthy during this quarantine. It’s hard to know what the future will hold when this is all finished, but it’s easier knowing we’re all in it together. Stay positive and don’t forget to reach out to others for support! -Molly Jean Feulner