Time Capsule: Coronavirus Changes Priorities
The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe in the last few months, shutting down entire countries and their economies. When the virus finally hit the U.S. in early March; schools, businesses, and stores closed their doors, unsure of when they would be able to open again.
The pandemic has left more than 26 million Americans unemployed, and counting, while the economy suffers alongside the Coronavirus patients.
When stay-at-home orders were put into place in place, Kim Wilson was given two options by the state agency she works for. She could come back to work for a midnight to 8a.m. shift in order to implement social distancing, or they would lay her off.
PA government workers show off their masks and gloves as they work midnight to 8a.m. instead of their usual 8a.m.-4p.m. hours. The commission they work for implemented a 3 shifts system with 4 people on each shift as a social distancing measure. #COMM481virus #Covid19globalview pic.twitter.com/hP4IvOp3Bo— Lillian Swartzell (@LillySwartzell) April 15, 2020
Wilson was unsure of how working an overnight shift would affect her health, as she was used to working a normal 8a.m. to 4p.m. schedule previously. As a widowed mom, she felt lucky to go back to work despite the uncomfortable circumstances, as many people weren’t given the option.
People look for something to grasp onto, to put hope back into their lives. Some choose to focus on the things that are in their control.
Wilson, my mom, decided to grow a “victory garden” in an effort to live a more sustainable life in a time where people were panic buying in grocery stores. She was inspired when she read about pollution being reduced due to stay-at-home orders from the pandemic, a positive improvement she noted amongst all the fear and tragedy.
She questioned the stability of supply chains and wondered if access to food would be threatened.
Covid 19 scare in Camp Hill, Pa. leaves Giant grocery store completely sold out of paper products. #Covid19GlobalView #COMM481virus pic.twitter.com/dP2xLmghBw— Lillian Swartzell (@LillySwartzell) March 18, 2020
Wilson decided growing a vegetable garden would allow her to share fresh vegetables with her family and friends while also being kind to the environment.The idea of a “victory garden” during trying times is not a new concept.
While researching the topic for History.com, reporter Laura Schumm found that the idea of citizens growing personal gardens first began during wartimes when agricultural workers were being drafted into the military. These gardens were meant to relieve the pressure on public food production. Near the end of WWII, victory gardens produced more than 8 million tons of food in the U.S.
Growing a small organic garden at home can also reduce pollution in the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food production negatively impacts the environment due to chemical pollution from pesticides, air pollution from transportation, and using excessive amounts of water.
Victory gardens are making a comeback in the U.S., until the nation is able to declare a total victory over COVID-19. Growing a garden at home can be a good way to spend time with your family in these trying times, and giving away your homegrown produce to essential workers on the front lines or those in need can help ease the burden of this pandemic in your community.
Photo Gallery: Growing a victory garden