Karla - May 27, 2020 - "For the most part, I have done well with the quarantine. It has forced me to do some things that I don't really like to do such as deep cleaning of the house. I have painted my doors, sewn masks and taken up a project that I started several years ago--will get it done! I've spent more time with my dog, been working out on about 5 days/week, planted kind of a "mini garden", facilitated a Life Group via Google Hangout, watched church online, been baking bread, etc. When I "hit the wall" last week, I took a 15 mile bike ride. There are many things one can do to keep themselves occupied during a time such as this."

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Donna - May 27, 2020 - "I'm tired of constantly hearing about this virus. This country can't stay shut down and survive. Many people are financially struggling now with no end in sight. Every one of the so called models have been wrong. Scientist keep changing their mind on how to handle this. Now it seems this virus is not as deadly as once thought. The sun rays do seem to kill it, but people are still not allowed on some beaches. Hospitals are furloughing staff because not busy. This virus has become too political and is being used as excuse by some governors and mayors to impose hash restrictions. National liberal media's are trying to instill fear in all of us to keep this country shut down until after the November election. We were warned that once states did more testing the number of cases would rise. There is no evidence it's spreading more. The point of shutting down for 2 weeks only was to not overload some hospitals, which did work. Shut down was not meant to last for months, and now it's fear of a 2nd wave coming!! No proof of that. It's non stop fear on news constantly. I believe a lot of people are not buying into that. It's time to start going back to normal life. More lives will be ruined, many will die from stress and depression from this shut down then the virus will kill. Yes, people like myself and my husband that are older and ones with medical issues still need to take precautions, and we will. It's our lives and we should be allowed to do what is best for us. We don't need politician governors and mayors telling us they know what is best for us. They are trying to take our rights away on freedom of speech, religion, working, socializing etc etc. This is not China. Russia or N Korea. This is America and we all have Constitutional rights that have been stripped from us by some governors and mayors that are overstepping their powers. Yes we have to be careful on opening, but they need to leave that responsibility up to the business's and people that are working. I am mad, stressed, and very scared of what is happening to this country. Yes, we will get through this, but the price some will have to pay is far greater than this virus, and probably was unnecessary."

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April - May 27, 2020 - "I feel guilty sometimes because my life has been mostly amazing since this thing started. My job was mostly work at home before this and now I work at home all the time. I volunteer with several groups that have almost no physical interaction but get me out of the house. I have time to eat healthier and be more active. I have had time to have down days too. My only anxiety is going to get groceries because I don't wear a mask. I know a lot of people would say good, you deserve that anxiety. But I feel masks are only necessary in small spaces where you spend a prolonged period of time. The largest breakouts of the disease have happened this way - assisted living and meat processing plants being the most obvious. Just think how many more cases you would have prevented by supporting local meat producing farmers than you have by wearing a mask? We had cases here in January and no one was wearing masks for months. I haven't seen any large breakouts among grocery store employees?"

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Freda - May 26, 2020 - "I am 72 and diabetic-so my active, busy, productive life, is at a stand-still. My husband is more at risk-with copd and diabetic. It has amazed me that everything we were used to doing-just stopped! I have a strong faith and rely on faith to keep my spirits up. The spring has helped and doing yard work has alleviated a lot of boredom. Also, music, my accordion playing, art, my watercolor painting and reading are great ways to keep busy. I like to cook and bake but every meal for so long is getting to be a chore! The hardest thing is seeing the struggles of our children and grandchildren-that makes me cry at times. So much has been taken away from them. The stress on them is great. I will be great full if they stay well. We will get through this!! But the uncertainty, keeps us all on edge!!"

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Jan - May 23, 2020 - "I'm 64 with health issues so I feel vulnerable. My kids both live in the cities and I live alone. I worry about getting sick with no one to help me or take me to the hospital if needed. I try to limit trips to the grocery store, so that means I only get fresh food for less than a week, then it's all canned, frozen and carbs. I was volunteering in kindergarten every day before school closed and I really miss the kids and teachers. I break down in tears 5-10 times a day. I feel like I don't have a right to feel this bad since I can pay my bills and I'm relatively safe if I stay home to the degree I do. But I can see this going on for at least a couple more years and I really can't imagine living like this for that long."

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Marie - May 22, 2020 - "We miss our family and friends. I also miss work and have been off for 8 weeks. My husband has lung and heart problems and would not survive if exposed to Covid so we cannot have any close contact with anyone. Our first grandchild is 5 months old and we have only seen her, except on zoom, since this started. She is changing quickly and we cannot even hold her. We can only see our adult kids at a distance and outside. I am 64 1/2 and did not plan to retire for a while yet but since I work in a patient care medical setting, I don’t know when it will be safe enough to return without exposing my husband or myself. At this time, I would love a job where I could work from home. My husband was employed also and he cannot return either. This will be a financial hit for us but the social costs are even higher and it looks like this problem will be with us for a while."

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Diane - May 22, 2020 - "Everyday I take a walk outside. I’ve never been quite so thankful for covering ground, for hearing the birds and feeling the wind. I walk to a park. I find a park bench. I open my book and read, and I wonder that I can be happy with all this sickness and dying. But I am, and for 60 minutes I’m thankful. And everyday I carry a little of it home with me."

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Marleana - May 21, 2020 - "We are social distancing, but we are also enjoying visits at the fire pit with our neighborhood families, we just sit about nine feet or so apart. You need that camaraderie and sense of connection. I am so concerned about the social aspects of this "thing." What will this do to the kids, who ultimately, with the isolated elderly, will be paying such a high emotional price? Masks- don't get me started. it is NOT healthy to rebreathe one's own Co2 for a prolonged period of time- and yes, I am a health professional saying that. If one feels compelled to wear one in public, well and good; do so if you so choose (sans glares at folks who opt not to). But please, people, not in your car, not on the bike and hike trails. Get fresh air!"

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Erica - May 21, 2020 - "My youngest daughter has lung issues and severe asthma in the winter. The virus seemed like a death sentence when we heard about it. However, Rochester has been a shining example of how we come together for each other! I am able to stay home with my daughter because my employer has allowed me to do some work from home and my children have food every day from school. Even though this is a tough, unprecedented time we’re living in, we have so much to be thankful for."

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Tanya - May 20, 2020 - "I am SO SO tired of it!!! Tired of masks that you can't breathe out of when you walk and feel like you have respiratory issues then. Your glasses fog up if you are wearing them. You have people stare at you like you have the plague if you walk into anywhere not wearing one. You walk into a store at one door and by the time you finish shopping the door has locked and now you have to walk across the store and then back across the parking lot to get to your car huffing and puffing cause you still can't breathe."

"I'm irritated and pissed off that all the special things we have been looking forward to for my daughter's senior year have been stripped away without warrant and warning. You keeping telling these kids just hang in there its just another couple years. Its just another year...you only have a few more months... only to have it wrecked. Then I read that 20 people get to have a "normal" ceremony with Trump. I didn't even care that it's with him. The fact is damn it...they get a graduation...LUCKY...We want a normal graduation."

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Walter & Dorothy - May 18, 2020 - "We are fortunate our daughter was working from home in Maryland and was able to do her job in our home for 6 weeks. She recently returned to her home. It was nice to have her here to help us and spend time together. We miss our son and daughter-in-law in Austin with our granddaughters. We were with them once a week for a couple of years. We get together Tuesday in Austin and will begin our weekly visits."

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Pat - May 15, 2020 - "We have been in isolation now for 64 days. March 12 was the day we closed the Friends' Bookstore for the safety of our volunteers and customers. My husband and I are both over the age of 65 and he had heart surgery a year ago so we feel we are in the high risk category. We do walk in our neighborhood each day and I have met several neighbors for the first time. It is nice to talk across the street from each other. I have made lunch and dinner for the last 64 days. I miss eating out so much. Sitting in a restaurant, ordering food, someone else making it and cleaning up after. Every 10 days we do a road trip to HyVee to pick up our online groceries. I have gotten to read so many great books during this time but I miss my family and friends."

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Karla - May 6, 2020 - "I miss my grandchildren. I have 4 in Rochester who I’ve been able to see for brief visits with social distancing which is great but not the same as being able to have them stay with us for overnights and to hug them. We have 2 grandchildren in Easter Wisconsin, 4 1/2 hours away. The oldest is almost 3. We FaceTime at least once a week but her baby brother is 4 1/2 months old and I haven’t seen him in person since January. He’s the one it’s hardest to be away from because he is changing and growing so much and I’m missing that. 2 granddaughters have birthdays this month and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able celebrate with either of them. That’s hard."

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Dillon - April 23, 2020 - "Covid has caused me to be out of work for several weeks. My fiance is a nurse and she was informed she may need to furlough. Never did we expect a nurse in Rochester to have issues with job security, but here we are. I, fortunately, am receiving unemployment. That doesn't last forever, though. There are many who don't qualify and many businesses suffering greatly. It will soon affect the local economy and many people who live in the area. The financial crisis is a greater threat to the public than the virus itself."

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Diane - April 23, 2020 - "I miss the kids and staff at the school where I work. There won’t be any end of the year field trips or parties. There won’t be a last day of school before everybody leaves for summer break. No hugs from kids on the last day and no goodbyes to the teachers and staff who are retiring or relocating. So sad!"

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Tyler - April 23, 2020 - "I am a team member at Menards. Every day brings challenges. Dealing with guests that don’t abide by social distancing to having to deal with close to 100 different people a day. Sometimes I have to talk to vendors and hand the phone off to guests and then they hand it back. Paper work is dropped off by guests for me to handle. 90 percent of the guests that come in because they are stuck at home with nothing to do. My anxiety level has increased excessively. Home projects need to be done but can be put off for the sake of team members and their families."

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Marie - April 23, 2020 - "I live at Shorewood. I have now been “in” for 43 days. I’m very grateful for the way our staff has gone out of their way to care for us. And Hy-Vee and doordash grocery deliveries have been terrific. However, that doesn’t make it any easier when I’m looking out my window at my daughter standing on the road 4 floors down, waving up at me. I wonder when/if I will ever be able to get a hug again. And it is not easy when you have a friend die. As an old person, I feel a little like a leper."