My Life During A Pandemic

At this point, we have heard the phrase “these are unprecedented times.” And while we may tire of hearing those words, it doesn’t change the reality that these are indeed, unprecedented times.

Now that we are fully into the new year, we decided to reach out to some of the young adults in the Baltimore Jewish community, check in on them and see how life has been for them these past several weeks.

These are their stories.

Adam Yosim

January 2 marked eight months since our semi-spontaneous decision to get a change of scenery from Baltimore to Boca. My wife and I needed more space – and hands! – for our then 10-month-old daughter who was just starting to roll around in our narrow Baltimore row home. The goal was to be back in Charm City by her first birthday. Spoiler alert – she is now walking all over the house (and us) and we are still here.

Time feels compressed and a blur since we packed up some clothes and drove 18 hours to stay with my wife’s parents, but the surprised look on my mother-in-law’s face when we showed up around 10:30 in the evening made everything worth it. We both long for our Baltimore community, but it’s been a blessing to have the extra familial help with childcare as two working parents. We are typically in Florida for Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving, so the reduced stress and coordination of travel plans is also a perk. Maybe one day we’ll spring for Goldbelly and have some Berger Cookies, Pit Beef and a Snowball overnighted to us. That last one might not be feasible, but it’s the thought that counts.

Jesse Elkin

The pandemic has forced me to be creative about meals. Before coronavirus, I would often grab coffee at Starbucks on my way to work. My office is about 10 minutes away from my Dad’s office, so we would eat lunch together once or twice a week. I would pick up from Wegmans or a restaurant in Hunt Valley every night after the gym.

Shifting to work-from-home has significantly disrupted my daily routine – most of my meals are now made at home.

I have always been a coffee snob (black coffee, of course) and now make my own every morning. I have experimented with different coffee brands and flavors and now support local coffee shops whenever possible.

My recent go-to lunch has been salad, opting for that instead of a sandwich or sushi, and my afternoon energy has improved because of it. I no longer “need” a 3 p.m. coffee and feel ready-to-go for my evening workouts.

Perhaps my favorite change to my routine has been cooking with my girlfriend, Jess. Jess and I cook most weeknights which gives us the opportunity to express our creativity. Among the many meals we have made together, my favorites have been sushi, paella and lettuce wraps.

While the pandemic has been disruptive to life as we know it, I think it is important to find the silver linings. My new appreciation for coffee and cooking has certainly been a highlight of my new life at home.

Wendy Cohen

I hope you don’t mind but I decided to take a different spin and list some musings and self-reflections I’ve had over the past year.

1. All hand sanitizer is NOT created equal!

2. Jig-saw puzzles were ALWAYS cool – Not I just have an excuse to do more of them.

3. When co-workers ask, “how are you?” you don’t always have to say “fine.” – Emotional intelligence is easier said than done on the emotional rollercoaster ride.

4. There is such a thing as TOO much alone time! – As someone who has always thrived in social environments, I had no problem finding an excuse to hunker in and hang out by myself. But when your apartment quickly becomes the backdrop for everything, the party of one gets a little old.

5. To-Go cocktails are my favorite addition, especially when your 2-year-old niece orders them for you.

6. Zoom happy hours are actually fun, until they end.

7. EVERYTHING and anything outdoors! – I have never spent so much time in Baltimore’s parks, walking along the Harbor, or hanging out in neighborhood car ports; whether for play dates with my niece, picnics with friends, first dates, or just for fresh air and a change of scenery.

8. Blue-light glasses are an essential item in my home office!

9. When you spend most of your time in your apartment, you will ALWAYS find the snacks you hid from yourself for a rainy day.

10. “We CAN do hard things!” – The past 10 months have been challenging but we are all more resilient than we know, and occasionally need the reminder to be kind to ourselves as we navigate through uncharted times.

Brittni Barcase

No one can prepare you for the loneliness that accompanies motherhood. It can be extremely isolating. One minute you are a single person in the world and the next minute you are expected to keep a teeny tiny human fed and alive – without a user’s guide or manual.

So if you told me I was going to become a mom and just barely start to get my “groove” back, only to have everything come to an abrupt halt due to a global pandemic, I would have laughed hard in your face. To put it into perspective, I have not stepped foot inside of a store, office, or anywhere since Marth 15 2020. My office plants, I’m sure, are dead since I haven’t seen them or watered them in months. We get our groceries delivered weekly and my “outings” are now drive-thru runs twice a week for a coffee or a large coke and some French-fries (happiness, people).

In many ways, life became simple. The clutter that filled my world melted away and the only things left were my family and my work. I never really wore make-up before the pandemic but now I definitely don’t (unless I have a zoom meeting, of course) and I couldn’t even tell you the last time I put “real” clothes on.

Even with life being intense this past year, it has been so, so full. My intention for the last few years has been to “lean in” so I will continue doing just that – leaning into whatever is to come but taking it one day at a time so I can continue to be fully present.

View Brittni’s full story: “These Are Not Normal Times”


While we wait for the coming weeks to develop and for vaccines, normalcy and more – it’s important to remember to take care of each other and, equally important, ourselves. So take some time for yourself, read a good book, attend a virtual happy hour, or reach out to someone who’s just there to listen. Here is a list of resources:

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The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

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