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COVID-19 experience: #TeamUrbane answers

Back in May, we asked our #TeamUrbane members two questions about their experience living through, working through, or going to school during a global pandemic. Below are their answers and tips they provided for anyone who might be struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Devlynn Neu, @therainbowOT


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: As an Occupational Therapist, my daily life has been impacted heavily. We went from running therapy groups, having a full therapy room, utilizing the outdoor garden area, and engaging in true occupation-based activities to isolated room treatments, social isolation, and increased signs and symptoms of negative impacts on mental health, occupational engagement, rituals, and routines. Our patients with dementia, developmental disabilities, and cognitive impairments require extra care and explanation regarding why they just stay in their rooms, maintain a 6-feet distance, and wear a mask when spending time in the hallways. The way we provide services has changed, but the client-centered occupation-based holistic approach of occupational therapy perseveres with adaptation.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: Make sure you prioritize time to be with yourself and sit with your thoughts. Take time to organize and identify your emotions. It’s okay to not be okay, and know that you’re not alone in feeling that way. Prioritize time to engage in meaningful occupations and give yourself credit for anything you do throughout the day, including getting out of bed or bathing. Stay home, wear a mask, and stay safe! 💖 @therainbowot


Jade Anne Simpauco, @littlenursejade


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: As a nurse, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed my work life and personal life heavily. I’ve always had so much respect for healthcare professionals, but the dedication and strength nurses like myself have continued to provide endlessly makes me so proud of my colleagues. It saddens me to know that my patients are not able to have family at the bedside and I do my best to play the part and provide them with both the health and emotional care they need. I’ll forever continue to encourage proper hand care hygiene and never take life for granted because Covid-19 has shown us how fragile life is.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: To those struggling, know that you are not alone. Take some time to phone a loved one or find activities that keep your mind healthy and occupied. It’s okay to feel unproductive, this is new to all of us and you are not expected to excel at everything. Stay strong and we are all in this together.


Kayla Davenport, @kdavv


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: There has been a lot learned during this pandemic. I have finally had time to slow down and realize what is important in life. My patients have grown closer to my heart than I could have ever imagined during this time since they cannot have family visiting them.


Being able to give them a glimpse of hope and love makes everything worthwhile. It’s all going to pass, this pandemic has taught everyone different things all for the better. We can love our families harder and show compassion to each other. Stay strong and wash your hands❤️


Susan Waters, @vetstudentsusan


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: As a veterinary student, I am now taking my classes online. This is a very drastic change, going from 8-5 in a classroom to having all distance learning. As difficult as it is to study alone, I have had more time to spend with my animals and on my own health. I have really focused on my own wellness and needs during this time so I am recharged when I can finally return to school.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: I know this is a strange and scary time, but know that it will end! Take time to focus on yourself, whether that is starting a new hobby, taking your health into your hands, or just resting and recharging - learn something about who you are and take care of yourself!



Ana Proano, @anna.proano


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: I work at a Veterinary hospital, during this pandemic work has been pretty chaotic! There has been reported a lot of COVID cases in the city I live in which made our hospital have to let go of some of our staff which led to way more work for us veterinarians, we have to cover in a lot of areas that we didn’t have to before. This situation has been without a doubt exhausting! And not having some of our most awesome co-workers to be working with us at the moment it’s just sad. My working schedule changes literally every day so it’s been really hard to adjust to it, but I’m still learning on how to handle these daily changes in the best way possible, at the end of the day it’s all worth it because of our furry patients!


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: I know a lot of students have been struggling! Every sacrifice has a reward, there's absolutely nothing that can take this away from you, you got this even if you have to finish the course online, even if you don’t get the practice you wanted, even if you don’t get to celebrate your graduation day the way you wanted, it’s okay! I know these times aren’t easy & we’re all confused about how to handle this situation but you’re not alone. Keep giving your 100% even if it’s from home, keep pushing forward! We got this.



Raven Jones, @blondefirebomb


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: My life has changed because I now take classes online (our dining room is my office) but, I also worked 2 jobs and the pandemic caused my second job to close down. I wear a mask every day in the pharmacy I work at and I have to distance myself from the patients I come there help which is saddening. My heart has been impacted the most by COVID-19, being at home more than before has taught me that relationships are really important and that I need to open my heart more to others because so many people are struggling and so many people need help.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: Do not give up. Have HOPE because the struggle will go away and things will get better. Focus on a new craft if you are laid off so that you may find income during the pandemic and after. If you have kids set at least 30 minutes to yourself because not having time to yourself can be a struggle on someone’s nerves. Reach out for help! Do not struggle alone, someone wants to help.



Priscilla Wu, @the_wusdom_tooth


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: I'm currently finishing up with my first year of dental school and spending it at home all the time due to COVID-19 has been challenging in different ways. Home has always been a place of rest for me since I usually did all my studying and assignments on campus. It's been a challenge combating the need to "rest" all the time at home and practicing the discipline to study at home. It's strange that quarantine causes you to feel like you have all the time in the world but none at the same time. It's hard to stray away from constant distractions- whether deciding to finally tidy up your closet or getting to that last few chapters of your book. At the same time, there is a lingering feeling of guilt that I could be using this time to study. I learned that it is OKAY to spend time doing something else, it OKAY to let yourself rest. I miss practicing dentistry at school, and I do worry about my manual dexterity getting rusty with this extended break from the lab. I find fun ways to incorporate it in tasks whether painting my nails or using indirect vision to color a picture. I take moments in my day to remind myself that I am healthy and it's important that I do my part to stay at home and help flatten the curve. I spend a lot of time reminiscing about all the amazing memories and adventures that I've had in the past few months and I just remind myself that there will be more to come. COVID-19 will past eventually and normalcy will return.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: Create a schedule that helps separate school/work from your daily life. Facetime your friends frequently- it's easy to feel lonely in a time like this and it's important to check up on each other. Find workout videos on YouTube to exercise too! The gyms are closed but your health is always running. Look for new/old hobbies to do- such as painting and cooking. Journaling! It's a weird time that we're going through and it'll be interesting to document it. Practice self-care! Sheet masks, paint your nails, learn about skin-care routine, take vitamins- do what makes you feel healthy and happy!


Malika Dawkins, @loved_not_spoiled


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: Working in the Pediatric ICU. I find joy in putting a smile on my patients' faces when walking into the room. If that’s just by a simple smile or doing my baby shark dance. I can no longer give my patients a hug and greet them with a smile once I enter the room. The first thing they see is me coming in with a mask, gown, gloves, etc. Could you imagine how terrified this kid is, seeing me with all this PPE on? Since my unit is a designated COVID floor we have to take special precautions to not only keep from exposing our nurses but also the other kids on the unit. I also empathize with that kid and family who are stuck in the isolation room. Because we have to limit contact with these patients, we can not enter the room as much as we would like. We can’t help pick out their favorite movie or go in and color with them during our downtime. This can make them feel so alone and scared. This pandemic has made me so grateful for the little things that I took for granted.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: We will get through this. Take this time to do some self-care, self-development, and self-reflection. Pick up a new hobby such as baking or painting. Take this YOU time and turn it into a positive situation.


Angelys Centeno, @angelyscenteno


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: My life has been impacted in ways you can’t even imagine, but I’ve learned that you must learn to maintain a positive outlook on life. I am no longer able to study the way I love to study due to the fact that all my nursing classes have been switched to an online format. It definitely hasn’t been easy and it’s really impacted the way I learn and the way I am able to obtain information. COVID-19 has also impacted my job and I am no longer able to go to work until further notice so that’s been really difficult I’m sure you can imagine how. Regardless of everything going on, I do try to look at the bright side of everything like I am able to learn from home which in reality is a luxury in disguise and I now have more time to spend with my family which another blessing.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: Change your thought, and turn them into positive thoughts. We have the power to control our mind and our actions. Remember that the actions you make now will define your future. Take this time now and ponder upon your blessings and the people you love.



Kavita Sainanee, @kavitathedentist


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: Most dental procedures create aerosol- this, combined with working in close proximity to the mouth, made the dental office a high-risk area of transmission of COVID-19. In order to do our part to slow the spread of the disease and conserve PPE for hospitals treating infected patients, our office closed. It’s been a tough month, not being able to see patients, being unemployed along with all of our staff, and not having any certainty on when we can return to treating patients.


But we’ve adapted. Our office has continued to be available on standby status for patients who have emergencies that may otherwise increase the burden on hospitals. We’ve set up teledentistry/virtual consult capabilities that allow us to advise patients from home. I never thought, as a dentist, that I’d be able to work from home. I’ve taken online continuing education classes and had virtual meetings to discuss how to best manage the situation during the pandemic, and plan preventive measures to reduce the risk for patients and our team members when we are ready to reopen.


I’m so thankful for the unity I’ve felt from our team as well as from the community as a whole. I’m sure if we all continue to be open-minded and work together, we’ll get through this even stronger.


Shirin Kamalipour, @dr.shirin.dmd


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: As a newly-graduated dentist, one of the main challenges I faced was having to file for unemployment less than a year into my career. It was hard to accept the fact that I had worked so hard for the last 27 years, and all of a sudden, I wasn’t able to do what I had spent so much of my life training for. Luckily, I am back to work now and as busy as ever. But it goes to show you to never take anything for granted and to always be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best. 


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: Take some time to focus on yourself. You don’t have to be productive 100% of the time, and you don’t have to feel guilty for it. Read a book, rekindle a friendship, do the thing you’ve been putting of, and remember why you fell in love with your career. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.


Rachel Manary, @rachel.elayna


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: As a current registered nursing student life has changed quite a bit. We have gone from a traditional clinical experience to an accelerated online format. Missing out on the ability to have clinical experiences with patients is the hardest part for me. I miss my advisors and fellow classmates. Focusing on the positives is what I am doing. I am grateful that we get to continue our education and will stay on track to graduate. It is a really crazy time to be a nursing student but I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing profession and get to impact patients' lives one day soon.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: Tips for those struggling with the current situation. Stay busy! Nursing school keeps me crazy busy with studying countless hours and honestly I’m grateful for it right now. There are some colleges that are offering free classes and it’s never too late to learn something new! Try out a new hobby or learn a second language. Also, cuddles from cute pups are always helpful! Looking at the positive is more time spent at home


Raquel Roberts, @sleepingbeauti_


Q: How has your life been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: My life has been tremendously impacted by COVID-19 both socially and professionally. Everything at work is different now. The entire vibe has shifted. You can’t walk into the hospital without getting your temperature checked. You can’t walk to the cafeteria without a mask. You feel a sense of apprehension when passing someone in the hallway, smiling awkwardly while trying to maintain a safe distance. As a Nurse Anesthesiologist, when I intubate, I feel scared not knowing who has the virus and who doesn’t despite the fact that I have adequate PPE. When I go home to my little girl I strip my clothes off and run to the shower. Even when I’m clean I feel dirty. You also have this other dynamic of your non-healthcare friends and family who just don’t get it and probably never will. It’s very frustrating. There’s really nothing left to do but continue on with life but in a more aseptic fashion and hope for the best.


Q: Do you have any tips for others who may be struggling during the pandemic?

A: It’s easy to feel alienated during this time especially if you have strong beliefs or opinions about the virus. People will make you feel like you are on an island if you are serious about practicing social distancing, and that’s ok because ironically that’s precisely where you need to be. Stay in touch with those who love and support you. Limit time on social media. Use this time to take up a new hobby or learn something new. Most importantly, remember that nothing lasts forever.


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