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:
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Matt Bromley is known in the community for being a tabletop game designer. He would normally have a booth during the Galacticon and UFO Festival, which has been canceled this year due to COVID-19.
Asked how his work and life has changed since the pandemic and restrictions were set in place, Bromley said, “We start out the day thinking of our health with yoga and meditation. Alice (Alice Balderrama, Roswell Independent School District performing arts educator) is now on summer break so things are more relaxed day to day. We tend our garden and I help others in theirs. We are trying to help others when we can. The pandemic has not affected my work too much, but it has allowed us to get some wanted projects to the table. We respect social distancing by wearing a mask when so many others do not in stores.
“I think it is an interesting time and a changed reality for sure — 2020, with the virus and the current protests for human rights, is really telling us to get out of our heads as a world society, and really take a good look and feel from the heart,” Bromley said.
Asked how to keep busy and content during these stressful times, Bromley said, “Alice and I tend to stay busy with our hobbies and projects because laziness tends to spawn frustration. We do miss being able to go to the theater or enjoy a restaurant and be around people. I work from home, so I was already in a sense prepared for this, but I believe this is making a lot of people focus on home and life outside of work as most of us are overworked. It’s time to realize that it is important to have healthy bonds with those we choose to be with. In a fast-paced society, we tend to forget that. Time to reassess what’s important in our lives.”
Hugh Taylor is president and CEO of Taylor & Associates in Roswell. He is known to the public as a thespian, performing regularly on stage in productions of the Roswell Community Little Theatre.
In an email, Taylor wrote that his company continued keeping the office open throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
“Everyone has a private office — so plenty of space for social distancing,” he said. “We employ 10 reps in the office at 602 W. Second St. and three or four at the South Main office. We applied for and received stimulus money for helping to keep the business running — we were fortunate to receive enough to pay all salaries for up to three months. We have not had to furlough anyone or reduce work hours. Of course, most business transactions and interviews have been over the phone and internet, email, etc. My son has continued his financial planning business via Zoom interviews, over the phone and internet, email, etc. (We) reopened our doors for business two weeks ago — not more than two (people) in the lobby at once.
“Being semi-retired, I have started — and completed a few — projects and ‘honey dos’ around our home — like renovating our backyard sprinkling system and reseeding, also planted a small garden and installed a drip system.”
Asked how he coped with being at home with his wife during the stay-at-home order, which has been lifted in part, Taylor said, “Elaine (Taylor’s wife) and I have our own TV and private reading areas of the house. Cooped up has not been a problem for us — Elaine goes to Walmart and other grocery stores and I go to Home Depot and Ace Hardware for various needs to complete projects around the house. We wear masks where required. There are always things to be fixed or cleaned in and outside of our home. We use our hot tub every night and have a couple friends over to shoot pool once a week. Elaine walks a lot and I go on bike rides out to Roswell Air terminal if not too windy — otherwise, I hop on the elliptical for a half hour or so a couple times a week.”
Taylor said that the social distancing has been tough. “I just hate not having normal church services, choir and Bible study — although we have been streaming the church service — it’s terrible not being able to see friends and eat out as we did — so many special days, like birthdays, holidays and funerals of friends have been skipped because of all the restrictions. Our (Roswell) Community Little Theatre has everything on hold — but bills still keep coming in for utilities, insurance and repairs — with little or no revenues coming in,” he said.
Taylor took advantage of the restricted opening of restaurants, he said. “Saturday, we went out to dinner celebrating our anniversary with friends and sat inside of a restaurant. Quite a treat for a change.”
Asked what would make him feel safe again, especially as research into complications for children who contracted the novel coronavirus is still ongoing, Taylor said, “Certainly, a vaccine is paramount as well as successful treatment remedies for any residuals folks might suffer from complications of COVID-19.”
Would you like to share your routine or tips on how to cope with the restrictions? Email email@example.com or call 575-622-7710, ext. 309 for details. You can message us on our Facebook page as well.