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Coping with COVID-19

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Christina Stock Photo Open ranchland north of Roswell on the road to Cloudcroft and Ruidoso.

Insights and ideas on how to deal with the ‘new normal,’ living 6 feet apart and social distancing

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

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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Jim Werdann

Jim Werdann retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. He is the owner of Capt. Jim’s, 108 W. Eighth St., which specializes in military and other souvenirs, as well as used and new items.

Asked how his business was impacted by the pandemic, Werdann said on Facebook messenger, “We had to close our business doors, but we tried to sell online as soon as our doors closed, and we also sold online using several online sites locally. Sales were down, but I was able to earn enough money to pay employees.”

Werdann said that he did not receive any financial help from the government or any other organization at first. “I did receive help from friends — them buying our goods we sold online,” he said. “We worked hard to earn every dollar during the shutdown — most we earned paid salaries and bills and taxes.

Werdann lives alone, he said that his lifestyle and routines didn’t change. “I spend almost all my time at work or with my grandkids, that makes my life perfect. In a lot of ways, I was quarantined long before this virus thing: Work, family, sleep, living the dream,” he said.

Asked how he stays informed, Werdann said, “I don’t watch the news at all anymore, haven’t for almost two years — I get enough news just from people talking to me. Since I have a terrible memory, I don’t remember what anyone tells me, so life is good. My world is my work, my grandkids.”

With the news being updated daily about possible side effects the new coronavirus may have for those who have had COVID-19, and what it would take him to feel safe again, Werdann said, “I feel safe now; I don’t think much about this virus thing. Why should I? Over 99% of people exposed survive. If this wasn’t an election year, we would have never heard about this virus, and as soon as the election is over — no matter who wins — you will never hear about this in the news after the election.”

Additionally, Werdann said, “I could answer all these questions with a different twist, chip on my shoulder, angry — but why? —- happens. I was able to keep my doors open sometimes, we paid employees, bills, taxes and mortgage, and although we applied for relief, we didn’t get any. But due to my dedicated customers, local residents, they continued to support my business during the shutdown and that is the only reason my doors haven’t been shut down permanently.

“As soon as we got the word we could open our doors again, I was contacted by WESST, a partner for us local small businesses. They requested on our behalf for us to receive a grant from someplace outside our town. Just recently, we were told that our business will receive this grant, and we just recently received the money. I cannot express the thanks and greatness of the WESST folks here in town enough, especially Rhonda Johnson, for her hard work for us to receive these funds.”

Fawn Alcorn-Pierce

Fawn Alcorn-Pierce was born and raised in Roswell. At a young age, she followed in her mother’s footsteps who had a dance studio in town. She became a dancer and taught at the studio. After 42 years of training thousands of dancers, she retired in 2003. Alcorn-Pierce served on the Roswell Symphony Guild board from 1976 to 2012, and was then asked to be board president, a position she held until 2016. In 2019, she retired from the RSO board.

Asked how her life was impacted due to the pandemic restrictions, Alcorn-Pierce wrote via Facebook messenger, “Like most everyone, I stayed closer to home and only went grocery shopping once a week. I did have a trip to Texas and a cruise planned, but those both got postponed. I’m taking all the extra time to do things around my house.”

While many are reaching out for support, this is not the case for Alcorn-Pierce. “I am blessed not to have to receive extra help and my friends and I have been very supportive to each other,” she said.

While Alcorn-Pierce lives alone with her dog, she does stay busy, though she says that she does not have a particular daily routine. “Since I’m the only one responsible for my home and yard, I definitely stay busy. I also help my brother around his house.”

Asked how Alcorn-Pierce stays in contact with the world, she said, “I have always watched a lot of news to stay informed, however, with the virus, the riots/protests and daily national and world events, it has become quite disconcerting so I have found myself watching less.”

Now that the restrictions are slowly easing up, asked what the first thing she is doing, Alcorn-Pierce said, “It’s nice to see businesses slowly opening. I am starting to frequent stores and shops again.

“I’m looking forward to a vaccine and think we’ll all feel safer and more confident about daily life when that day arrives,” Alcorn-Pierce said.

Would you like to share your routine or tips on how to cope with the restrictions? Email vision@rdrnews.com or call 575-622-7710, ext. 309 for details. You can message us on our Facebook page as well.