Insights and ideas on how to deal with the ‘new normal,’ living 6 feet apart and social distancing
By Christina Stock
Recently, we started a new series showing how others are coping, adapting and living in the COVID-19 times. There might be stories that inspire, lighten the burden or just entertain.
Our area’s people are known for being tough, resilient and independent. They are the descendants of pioneers, and one day, their children’s children will look back with pride on how every family and person dealt with these challenging times. Here are their stories:
Frank Coombes is originally from San Francisco, California. He moved to Roswell in 1998. In a Facebook message he said, “I worked 15 years at Leprino Foods and am closing in on five years with Roswell Toyota, I am the internet manager. I will be married 22 years in August. We have three adult children and two grandkids, so far.”
Asked about how the restrictions have impacted his work, Coombes said, “I have been working the whole time, been doing online sales with home delivery. We bring vehicles to homes or places of business. The volume of business is as expected, slower, but we did OK considering the current situation. Sanitizing the vehicles and wearing a mask have been the biggest changes. Our service department remained fully open, but with a reduced amount of work as most folks were staying home. My daily routine is not so routine. My schedule depends on when a customer needs me. I never know when the phone rings and they want a car at their house.”
Asked if he received any support, Coombes said no and that he had not received the stimulus check at press time.
“When I’m not working, I’ve been spending more time on the river fishing, or just relaxing. It’s very peaceful out there,” he said.
Coombes said his private life has not changed, “My daughter also has worked this whole time,” he said. “My wife is the only one who stays home. We had a normal Easter and Mother’s Day with family coming in from their homes. We do have plenty of gardening to keep up with, daily watering and keeping weeds pulled. I would say this year my wife has added more than previous (years) to her garden area.”
Asked what he will do first when everything opens up, Coombes said, “When things open up, we will probably go watch a movie, eat at a local place, Peppers is our favorite. Outside of that, we have pretty much been doing our thing and are ignoring the virus stuff.”
Coombes said that he isn’t following the news as much. “So many different outlets are twisting the reports. Depending on what source you use, you can get several different versions of a story,” he said.
Asked what it would take for him and his family to feel safe, especially as a certain group of children may also be at risk after recovering from COVID-19, Coombes said, “My family feels 100% safe. We live in a world of unknowns and it changes all the time. We live our lives for us and will continue to do so. I stopped wearing a mask; I’ve got a sinus infection and the doc said not to wear one.
“I hope children will not have any health issue from the virus,” Coombes said. “They are our future and deserve a chance to grow up and be strong and healthy. One thing about science is it is always changing. Science will continue to change as cures are found, as new diseases are discovered; we — as humans — will continue to change with it. Everyone’s survival depends on how well you adapt to change.”
Scott Montgomery is a graduate of Goddard High School, class of 1997. “I grew up in southeast New Mexico. I left for the Marine Corps shortly after. I served as a member of the Marine Band where I played bassoon, bass — both electric and upright — and marching with percussion. The particular Marine Band I ended up with was in Albany, Georgia, and we traveled all over the continent playing over 300 gigs per year. Currently, my main focus is on bass — I just love playing a groove and watching people dance and sing along. There really isn’t anything more rewarding for a musician. I’ve played bass for about 30 years now,” Montgomery said.
Asked how the pandemic changed his work, Montgomery said, “COVID-19 has been a big impact on me and my business. As a professional musician, I haven’t been able to go out and gig; (neither) have I been able to do lessons. I am coping with this by taking the time to really hone my craft more and become an even better me and musician.”
While many may feel the stress of being 24/7 together with their loved ones, Montgomery has no complaints. “Due to other complications, I have moved in with my father and he’s greatly helping me through this situation,” he said. “He’s been a real rock in my life. Being cooped up together hasn’t been too hard. We have our own things to do. I spend six to even 10 hours a day practicing and becoming a better musician and learning new songs, new techniques. I have a mantra I repeat to myself daily, which I believe talking helps me be less cranky and feeling a lot better; it is as follows:
Just for today I will not worry.
Just for today I will not give in to anger.
Just for today I will do my work honestly.
Just for today I will be grateful.
Just for today I will be kind to all living things.
His daily life follows a loose routine, Montgomery said. “I am getting up, having coffee while catching up on news, world, nation and local; then it’s off to the shed as I call it — musicians often call practice a shedding.”
Asked if he picked up a new hobby, he said, “Though this could give me time to pick up a new craft, I have not taken the time as I want to hone in my craft better.”
Asked if there are any changes in communicating or keeping up with the news, Montgomery said, “I keep in touch with a lot of people through text, Facebook Messenger, as well as video calls through Discord and several other platforms. I speak to family and friends on the phone, as well. I seem to watch a little more news than what I used to watch, but I do try to limit it.”
As many do, Montgomery is looking forward to every business opening again. “Once things truly reopen, I look forward to dinner and a movie. It’s the little things in life that I find that bring us the most joy.”
Asked what would make him feel safe again, Montgomery said, “I am thankful to live in Roswell where we haven’t had rampant spread of the disease. I feel pretty confident in my hometown as it is, as long as proper social distancing is being observed. Once the spread really does slow in our state and nation, I’ll feel more confident to travel.
Would you like to share your routine or tips on how to cope with the restrictions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 575-622-7710, ext. 309. You can message us on our Facebook page as well.