Q: Your family owns a pharmacy, so what’s it like being in the pharmacy and working in it during this time?
It’s kind of strange because we are supposed to be practicing social distancing and everything, but I’m still working closely around a lot of different people throughout the week. While a lot of people at the pharmacy are talking about [Covid-19], it’s still kind of easy to forget because I’m working next to people and am so caught up in tasks, so it’s kind of like an escape from all of the craziness even though it’s still really crazy at the pharmacy. It’s also interesting because it’s a hard time but we still have to be open for people. We’ve had to make a lot of changes within the pharmacy to ensure the health of our employees and our customers, which has been kind of crazy and has been a lot harder because we need a lot more help on staff.
Q: How are you and your family adapting at the pharmacy to keep everybody, workers and customers, safe?
It’s been a little over a week since we shut our doors, so no customers can come inside the store. Instead, we only offer delivery or curbside pick-up. People can call in with orders and stuff they want, whether it’s prescriptions or over the counter items, and we will ring them up ahead of time and bring them out to their car when they get to the store. So that’s one thing that we’ve done, and now this week we are starting to implement a mask policy. We are just making all of our workers wear masks because if one of us gets sick we want to lessen the chance of it spreading to another one of our workers, and because, realistically, if any of us got the virus, we would have to close the pharmacy, which would be a really big deal because a lot of other pharmacies are already having to close, so a lot of people are relying on us to get some of their medications and stuff. So we’ve been implementing masks, washing our hands a lot, we have hand sanitizer for the staff, and we are just being really cautious and careful. We drew a line outside of our door and we ask people not to cross the line to make sure we maintain our distance while talking to customers through the door.
Q: So, about the masks that you mentioned, I know that you and your family have been making some masks at home, so could you talk a little about that?
My mom went a got tight-knit cotton fabric and we decided to try and make some of our own [masks] because we can’t really get any anywhere else. We made some out of cotton, and they’re the ones that you tie behind your head. We also wanted to make them reusable so we can reuse them instead of trying to get new ones a lot. We are also making extras to donate to medical staff right now. I like them, there’s a lot of different patterns. I think it’s just important that we are making them because they’re really necessary. It’s kind of a tedious process, but once you get going it’s fine. My mom made around 10 the other day, which is kind of a lot based on the time it takes to cut the fabric, fold the masks over, and sew them. It’s been an interesting process, I’ve been helping my mom cut fabric and have been watching her to try to learn how to do the sewing.
Q: What is the importance or significance of you working at the pharmacy, and of you, your family, and the pharmacy right now?
It’s super important. I’m really happy and proud to be able to work at a place during this time and to help people out because I feel really useful and that we are actually helping people. I think it’s especially important that independent businesses like ours are still open and staying open because not everybody wants to walk into a lot of larger-name brand stores at a time like this since they’re very popular stores. We are offering curb-side pickup, delivery, or just an alternative option that allows people to stay more safe, so it is also very important that we are offering things like that. I know some other pharmacies are offering things like curbside pickup as well, but I think it’s important to have those options in times like this. We are still offering all of the same services we did before, we just have to do it a little differently. It’s important that we are taking action early on as a business to prevent closing so that we can be there for our customers, and that we are trying to get and stay ahead. It’s important f0r a lot of essential businesses trying to stay open right now to be open and I think it’s really cool that we are able to stay open and I really enjoy working at the pharmacy during this time.
Q: Besides the pharmacy, what else have you been doing to keep yourself busy and at home for the past few weeks?
I’ve been doing a lot of crafty things. I like to occupy my time with crafts because they are stimulating. I have painted, I did tie-dye with my sister which was fun, I’ve done chalk, etc. A lot of the kids in my neighborhood are writing messages in chalk to each other, and they started writing messages outside my house so I decided to write some back because they’re super adorable and I couldn’t just not write back. Me and my mom have been cooking and baking every day and have been making lunch to bring to the pharmacy for the staff. I’ve been watching some Netflix, Love is Blind, for example, and other shows to occupy my time. So I guess I’ve been trying to do a lot of things to occupy my time.
Q: How are you staying connected to everybody even though you can’t be in the physical presence of others?
I’ve been facetiming and calling my friends and family. I called my grandpa the other day because none of us have been able to see him for a while. I watched Love is Blind with some friends using Netflix party which is fun because you can watch a show together while typing and talking to each other. Some of our neighbors and us will just stand across the alley from each other and chat for a bit while maintaining appropriate distance from each other, so that’s been nice to talk to other people more in person. Mostly I’ve been just using Facetime, phone calls, and text messages.
Q: Do you have anything else to add about the pharmacy or just about how life has been lately?
Life has been really weird because working at a time like this. I’m working because of the circumstances, but I don’t always realize. You kind of feel normal, but then are suddenly like well this isn’t normal, so it’s an interesting thing to be doing. Overall, I’m really happy that I’m able to help and am still working at my pharmacy and we are still open. I think it’s important to recognize all of the businesses that are struggling and working hard to be open at this time.