Op-Ed: Here’s how the coronavirus has changed the lives of Americans across the country

Illustration for "Dispatches from the pandemic" op-ed piece for Sunday, March 29, 2020 (Camily Tsai / For The Times)
(Camily Tsai/For The Times)

Across the nation and the world, lives have been drastically altered by coronavirus. In our series “Dispatches From the Pandemic,” we feature the stories of some of them.

We’ve heard from emergency room doctors who are caring for patients despite their fears, people struggling to make their mortgage payments and college students whose plans have been put on hold. You can read all of those stories below.

If you have something to say about how the outbreak has affected your work, your family or your life (in 400 words or fewer), please tell us here.

Magic happens in a physical classroom, not through online platforms popularized during the coronavirus quarantine.



It hit me: Letters! Care packages! That was how to bridge the pandemic distance and be an ally.

My scrubs broadcast to the world that I am someone to be avoided. Want to support healthcare workers fighting COVID-19? Reach out to them.

The coronavirus-idled events team from a ski resort runs a food bank in Basalt, Colo., pivoting from delivering entertainment to helping the hungry.

Building a wardrobe of fashionable face masks doesn’t make me insensitive to the grave consequences of coronavirus.

The days run together during the coronavirus quarantine, but a jigsaw puzzle and a brief family moment help define them.


When I came home from college because of the coronavirus outbreak, my eighth-grade English teacher, my mentor, postponed a meeting with me. She had a fever and a cough.

Dancing at home during the shutdown is the coronavirus pandemic’s bathtub gin.

I’ve been doing my part to keep an eye on my older neighbors, which helps calm my own feelings of fear and helplessness.

I’m running low on toilet paper, thanks to hoarding in response to the coronavirus outbreak. I’m not worried, because I’m done with TP for good.

A garlic bulb, found almost desiccated during a vacuuming, is pushing greenery toward the sky. The cilantro, though, has been wholly devoured by snails.

A touching video of Jane Goodall releasing a chimp into the wild makes my son sob. His tears may reveal frustration over our coronavirus-altered lives.

How the soothing action of knitting calms my stress and fears -- one in a series of dispatches from the pandemic.


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