Embracing Love Across Boundaries

Sorted by: Theme: Health Care

Written Story by Seth

Embracing Love Across Boundaries

My name is Seth, and amidst the chaos and uncertainty of a global pandemic, I experienced a profound journey into fatherhood. It was during these trying times that my wife, Grace, and I welcomed our first baby girl, Galaxy, into the world. Little did we know that the curfew imposed by the circumstances would prevent our family members, including my own parents, from being physically present to witness this precious moment.

As the day approached, anxiety mingled with excitement in my heart. The joy of becoming a father was overwhelming, but a sense of sadness seeped in as well. I longed for my parents to be by our side, to shower their love upon their granddaughter and share in the joyous occasion. Yet, due to the curfew restrictions, their presence seemed like a distant dream.

Within the walls of the hospital, I held Grace’s hand tightly, providing her with the comfort and support she needed during labor. As our daughter, Galaxy, came into this world, a wave of emotions washed over me. The absence of our families was deeply felt, but I couldn’t let despair cloud this precious moment. With the help of modern technology, we connected with our parents through video calls, sharing the incredible sight of Galaxy’s arrival. Their faces lit up with pure love and pride, albeit through the screen. Tears of joy mingled with longing as we witnessed their overwhelming emotions from afar.

In the days that followed, I witnessed Grace’s strength and resilience as she embraced motherhood with grace. Together, we navigated the sleepless nights and celebrated every milestone our little Galaxy reached. Yet, a part of me yearned for the presence of my own parents, for their wisdom and guidance during this new chapter of our lives.

The curfew imposed by the pandemic became an unexpected catalyst for personal growth. I delved into books on fatherhood, seeking solace and insights that would help me become the best parent I could be.

However, the desire to introduce Galaxy to her grandparents remained a constant ache in my heart. Imagining their arms wrapped around her, showering her with love, became a bittersweet solace during quiet moments.

As the weeks turned into months, the curfew gradually eased, allowing careful visits from loved ones. The day finally arrived when my parents, masks in place and hearts overflowing with love, entered our home. Tears of joy streamed down our faces as they cradled their granddaughter, Galaxy, for the first time, their touch conveying a lifetime of affection and adoration. In that beautiful moment, the distance and longing of the past months melted away, replaced by an unbreakable bond that defied physical separation.

Looking at Galaxy, surrounded by the love and warmth of her grandparents, I understood that our connection had been forged in the face of adversity. The memories of those early days, marked by solitude and longing, would forever remind us of the power of love and the resilience of family bonds.

As I watched my little Galaxy grow, I marveled at the strength of our family’s love and how it had persevered despite the challenges we faced. Our reunion was not just a celebration of physical presence but a testament to the indomitable spirit of love and connection that transcends boundaries.

Galaxy, with her radiant smile and curious eyes, became a beacon of hope and resilience in our lives. The times when her grandparents couldn’t hold her physically were replaced by countless video calls and virtual storytelling sessions, ensuring that the bond between them remained unbreakable.

And so, as I held Galaxy close, I knew that her journey into this world was imbued with a unique story.

As conclusion, the pandemic has tested our resilience and redefined our priorities. Through adversity, we have learned the value of human connection, adaptability, and compassion. As we move forward, we carry the lessons learned and a collective determination to create a better future.

Written Story by Sage-Curry

We have been learning to be strong little one

As the wind and rain have found no pattern against the windowpane It has been me and you


Who listen to the howl of humanity’s suffering outside our window. When you first smiled

My own disappeared willingingly behind a mask

Your first words

Were for me only

As we are alone now

But they are all the more precious

As a word in joy has the weight of a precious metal in this time. In the endless darkness you nurse

Pulling life from my body into yours

What kind of world have I brought you into?

My tears tremble silently down

Upon your round perfect cheek

A beach, a ride in a grocery cart

The library, a grandma

Everything I took for granted

Before your birth

Of those things at least I could offer you

I thought.

I knew nothing of the storm that would come so soon after you were born And through the sleepless nights of your new life

I found dread knotted into my new existence as your mother. All I knew was that

I must protect the tiny pulsing light of your spirit

And I will

I promise you sweet innocent

My greatest love

Our ancestors.

Whoever and wherever they found themselves

Survived the cold, the pain, the loss

To bring me and then you to this place

Our storm will end


And when that time comes

I will take you by the hand

And show you how beautiful the world outside our window is.

Written Story by Jack

My journey with long COVID was an arduous one, filled with physical and emotional challenges  that tested their resilience. After contracting COVID-19, I initially believed that their symptoms  would gradually subside, just like those of many others who had recovered from the virus.  However, as days turned into weeks and weeks into months, it became evident that their battle was far from over.

Chronic fatigue plagued , I making even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. Their energy  reserves were depleted, and the constant tiredness became an ever-present companion.  Additionally, muscle pain became a persistent reminder of the toll the virus had taken on their  body. Each step felt like wading through quicksand, as if their limbs were burdened with  invisible weights. Simple movements that were once effortless became excruciating.

However, it wasn’t just the physical symptoms that took a toll on my daily life. Cognitive  difficulties began to manifest, leaving them struggling with brain fog and memory lapses. Simple  conversations became a challenge as they grappled to find the right words or recall recent  events. This cognitive fog cast a shadow over their professional life, making work tasks  overwhelming and causing frustration and self-doubt to seep into their mind.

Determined to find answers and support, I reached out to local healthcare providers in Oregon  who specialized in long COVID care. They sought the expertise of doctors who had witnessed  the prolonged effects of the virus firsthand and could offer guidance on treatment options.  Collaborating with these professionals, I developed a comprehensive care plan tailored to their  specific needs.

The treatment plan encompassed a combination of medical interventions and therapies. I  underwent various tests and evaluations to identify potential underlying health issues  exacerbated by long COVID. Medications were prescribed to manage specific symptoms and  address any complications that arose. Physical therapy became an essential part of their  routine, helping to rebuild strength, improve mobility, and alleviate the persistent muscle pain.

While medical treatments played a crucial role, I discovered that support from fellow long  COVID survivors was equally invaluable. They sought out local support groups in Oregon where  they could connect with others who understood the unique challenges they faced. In these  groups, I found solace, validation, and a sense of belonging. Sharing their experiences,  struggles, and victories became a lifeline, offering a support network that understood the  physical and emotional impact of long COVID.

I embarked on their journey of resilience, they faced setbacks and moments of despair. There  were days when progress felt agonizingly slow, and doubts crept in. But with each step forward,  no matter how small, their determination grew stronger. They celebrated even the tiniest  victories, whether it was a slight increase in energy levels or successfully completing a physical  therapy session without immense pain.

Over time, I perseverance and the support of healthcare professionals and fellow survivors  began to yield positive results. The chronic fatigue gradually lessened, allowing them to engage  in activities they had once enjoyed. The muscle pain, while still present, became more  manageable, and the cognitive difficulties began to improve as the brain fog lifted.

Journey with long COVID in Oregon serves as a testament to the power of resilience, tenacity,  and community support. Through their determination to seek answers and find support, they  slowly regained their strength and worked towards a better quality of life. Their story stands as  a beacon of hope for others navigating the challenges of long COVID, demonstrating that  healing and improvement are possible with the right resources, treatment, and a supportive  community by one’s side.

Written Story by Oluwatosin Oginni

Impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on family connection: Community Connection and Isolation 

The experiences and impacts of COVID-19 pandemic are ones that I will not forget very quickly.  This is because it has really changed my perspectives about the importance of communal living  and the support that comes from the community, which we often take for granted.  My wife became pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic period and as a result, we were  confined to stay at home. Being our first time of been pregnant, there were many things we did not  know about pregnancy that we could have learned based on meeting people daily. Two  inexperienced people living together all day every day, not having anywhere to go, really pushed  the boundaries for us as my wife’s mood swings were changing due to the baby’s growth and I  was the outlet for her to vent her frustration. So, I learnt to become very patient and calm to  understand that many things were going on with her which were beyond her control.  Another experience I could not forget easily was having to decide on whether my pregnant wife  should get the COVID-19 injection. This was a scary decision as there were no pieces of medical  evidence to prove if the injection will impact the unborn baby. Given that I was responsible for grocery shopping, which in turn means I will be interacting with people, I was both at risk of  contracting the virus and bringing it home to my wife. So, the decision we made was for me to get  vaccinated so I can protect myself and in so doing protect my wife and the unborn baby. My wife  ended up getting vaccinated later after the baby’s arrival.

The saddest part of my COVID-19 experience was when my wife gave birth to our baby, and we  couldn’t get her mom to come over to assist her with the newborn as well as help her with the fresh  wounds from her Caesar Section delivery. It was a bittersweet experience for us. On one hand, we  were happy that we have a new baby joining the family, and on the other hand, we had to tend to  my wife’s wounds as well as cater for the baby. How do we bathe the baby? The baby was so tiny  and fragile. Even though we were taught how to bathe him at the hospital, it flew over our heads  when we got home and were faced with that responsibility. This would have been easy with the  help of grandma. Both lo and behold, she was denied visa multiple times. This was when it dawned  on me that often time, we take community for granted. At this moment, we needed help, while  people may be willing to help, they were afraid of contracting COVID-19 as well as not to transmit the same to other people. However, we were able to go through all these experiences unscathed as  we now relied on the use of video calling for guidance from grandma.

Furthermore, a more painful part of the covid-19 pandemic was the loss of my dear mum. She took  ill during the period of our pregnancy, and we feared taking her to the hospital due to the higher  chances of contracting the virus at the hospital, which may end up exacerbating the situation, given  that she was in her sixties and older people in that age range were highly susceptible to COVID-19. The news of her death broke me to the core. She was very dear to me, and I had wanted her  not only to see my child but to hold him in her hands. I never got that opportunity. I remember  holding the baby in my hands in the labor room and breaking down in tears because my mum was  not alive to see my child. That moment is still very vivid in my memory, and it is so sacred to me  that I will not forget it anytime soon.

COVID-19 pandemic led to so many restrictions which I believe were anti-human/anti-communal  living. It really showed that human beings were not meant to live in isolation. We are built to live  together as a community, to love one another and enjoy the assistance of other people. My  experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic were not so pleasant. While I do not always want to  overtly dwell on those experiences, this storytelling project has given me the opportunity to reflect  on those experiences and how I have been impacted as well as how it has shaped my priorities in  life.



Written Story by Anonymous

Course Schedule

Spring 2020 – French 340: Oral Skills

An advanced study in moving mouths around unfamiliar vowels

We watch the professors tongue hit his teeth, not like that mais comme ça

Sent home to distinguish pronunciations through delayed Zoom connections

Updating our vocabulary; contagieux, unprecedented, pandémie

Even en français these words can’t be romanticized

There is no skill in communicating the worry of unknowns

Only empathy and patience as time strides by and stays put

Why do we entertain the fanfare of academia in times like these

The only test I can bear to take is being withheld by our government

What do grade point averages mean to ghosts

Summer 2020 – Arts 310: Living with Dying; Analyzing HBO’s Six Feet Under

Syllabus finalized in early spring, seats filled before the hospital beds did

Somber introductions and acknowledgement of newly found relevance

Binge watching episodes between planning memorials

I’ve been waiting 15 years to stop whispering about death

But even now as we yell, they don’t listen

My final project is a business plan; implementing grief education in schools

There is beauty in creating the structures we wish we’d had

And anger in knowing our pain doesn’t necessitate change

I am no stranger to death

I know there are much worse things to face

Fall 2020 – French 400: Linguistics

Apocalypse, from the Greek apokalyptein, “to uncover”

Etymology turning despair to opportunity

The clarity of interconnectedness cannot be unseen

How can our words keep up with circumstance

Do we dare attempt to articulate our fragmented realities?

I study language to collect descriptors,

Work in health because care transcends translation.

Indefinitely distanced, I seek connection through expression

Covid dismantled my lexicon and sense of community

I rebuild them both

Written Story by Myat

In March of 2020, Covid19 descended in our community much like any other communities in Oregon. The entire community went into lock down just like the whole State  and Country did. We entered into survivor mode in effort to combat and educate community members about this terrible pandemic. This was not easy and it required cooperation of  everyone. As a community our first and primary duty was to assure that everyone is safe and  protected. We followed every single guideline as given without exception. We also resulted in  using traditional healing mechanism for preventing getting this terrible disease. One of the best  way was to protect ourselves from getting a cold which could result in possibly weakening the  body and making it susceptible to getting infected. So we consumed everything that will fortify  our bodies ans health. One of the simplest remedies used was to boil a combination of lemon,  ginger, onion, and garlic and then add a spoon of natural honey. This was the perfect  combination to make the body not susceptible to cold. This little an simple remedy worked like  magic. We also formed an alliance in our community towards protecting our community  members. This was meant to assure that everyone was healthy. We connect via frequent phone  calls, via social media such whatsapp very often if not daily. We did drive by to our community  members that to assure more visibility and assurance that everyone was doing well. It doesn’t  mean that member did not get sick, it simply means that we kept an open communication to  assure that if a community member was to get convid19, we will sick resources to assure that  he or she is has all the care they need. This was not a simple endeavor since there was still some  stigma about covid19 as some people thought they will be shined if it discovered that they have  been infected by Civid19. So we had to create a sense of community understanding that covid19  is a disease that no one is immune. At any particular time anyone could unfortunately get it. The  most important this is that it matters to assure that anyone affected will get all care and help  they needed to make sure the come though victorious. As a community we launched a  campaign designed to informatio all community members on facts about covid19, and possible  remedies including self care. This became the most important mission of community elders to  assure that our community stays unified and in keeping everyone safe. This involved frequent  phone calls, frequent chats and once in while a get together in socially distanced way. All of  these measures were meant to stay connected and stay current by ensuring the well-being of  community members. One of the best weapon we realized was education. Education provided  knowledge, shared values, collaboration, and understanding that no one was alone. In this  circumstances assuring that every member was well and healthy was all we needed to  accomplish our goal. This is often a long term project for community well-being.

Written Story by Max Mabry


My name is Max Mabry, and I am a recent graduate from the University of Oregon. I am submitting for your COVID Storytelling submission with my way of telling stories and expressing myself, which is through musical composition. While I understand this may be a bit of a stretch, I figured I would submit it anyway in case it caught your interest and could be used for your project. My piece is called Piano Suite for the World Today, and it is a piano suite that I wrote during COVID that explored some of the feelings I had as we all went through the motions of COVID as a community. 

Here is a link to a performance of the piece I am soon releasing to the public on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRr4JfBf-E8  

The movements of the piece are named as follows: 

I. Simplicity

II. The Awkward Dance Partner

III. Calamity 

IV. Stuck in Your Own Mind

V. A Conflicted Resolution

And this is the program note that I wrote to go with the piece: 

Piano Suite for the World Today was a piece I wrote as a reaction to the impact of COVID on people’s everyday lives. The different movements represent different physical or mental states of being during the pandemic, and the rapid changes in mood and energy between the movements represent the temperament of people as they dealt with their own thoughts and life as it was affected by the drastic shift that occurred throughout the world. 

Thank you so much for your time, 

Max Mabry 


Written Story by Matt

My pandemic experience started with a call from my manager: You have been exposed, isolate  yourself from others. Call us back if anything happens. 

It felt like I had been bitten by a zombie and they were waiting to see if I’ll turn. 

Being exposed to illness is something I’ve expected, I work as a X-ray Tech. TB is not a stranger.  We in diagnostic imaging are on the front line with doctors and nurses, often not fully  appreciated though. 

As a X-ray tech I was essential in the COVID ward. I would go through the air lock into my space  suit and take portable xrays of patients. There were some times we wished we could go to the  ward. One summer the fires were so bad the hospital was so full of smoke the fire alarms kept  going off. Breathing that filtered air in our COVID space suits was a real treat. 

I got into Xray because I wanted to help patients along their path to wellness. Shooting xrays of  knees and hips for replacement planning and seeing them recover and feel better after. It made  me feel like I was working in the land of sunshine and rainbows. 

It changed, the patients stopped leaving. The COVID ward was crazy. It slid into wild west  territory. Doctors were trying to do everything to keep these people alive. I remember helping  get ECMO set up, we never do ECMO. Our medical interventions could bypass the heart and  lungs, it was often the kidneys that failed. There was something about how the pH couldn’t be  correct with the amount of CO2 in the blood. 

When patients were discharged It was a celebration. Music would play in the halls. 

I remember x-raying someone close to my own age in the COVID ward. When your young you  think you’re invincible, that it’s only going to be like the flu at worst. Seeing this patient  intubated, alone; that could be me. They were drugged to be paralyzed and to reduce  sensations from the choking of the tube down their throat. I was told the patients were still  awake. 

I volunteer for a graveyard shift Christmas eve to give my coworkers a break. It’s Christmas morning in the COVID ward. My patient has their family on a screen, there’s a nurse bedside  saying comforting, compassionate things. It looks grim, no one is supposed to die on Christmas. 

Days pass, that patient doesn’t appear on the lists anymore. 

But then, a few months ago they’re in the ER. I’m X-raying them, they’re still sick, and in the  middle of the exam they mention that I sound familiar. They say how much they appreciate the  gentle care they received, that the staff was so nice, that they could remember how I cared for  them. I was so surprised they weren’t dead, but you can’t say that to patients. Instead I say: I’m  so happy to see you today.

For a moment it felt like I was back in the land of sunshine and rainbows.

Written Story by J

Summer 2021 was a time in the middle of the pandemic where many folks who could and  wanted to get their COVID-19 vaccination for protection, were able to. With a direct line of  communication to the Multnomah County Public Health Department and the Oregon Health  Authority, community members were able to remind folks of our severely ill, at-risk, and  homebound community members who were unable to leave their homes in order to get  vaccinated. Specific teams were assigned to help alleviate these issues, although no 211 staff  understood how this was supposed to work nor that a team even existed to problem solve  these issues.  

All this said, for some of us that were very high risk for COVID-19 complications, due to  anaphylaxis to excipients such as Polyethylene glycol (PEG), Polypropylene glycol (PG),  Polysorbate 80, and other ubiquitous ethoxylated excipients, the risk of dying from anaphylaxis  to the COVID-19 vaccines was a somewhat greater, and more immediate risk than dying from  COVID-19. The issue, however, was that these same excipients that could cause anaphylaxis  from vaccine administration were and also are in all of the available COVID-19 prophylaxis and  COVID-19 therapeutics, except IV Remdesivir. Although the FDA had approved IV Remdesivir’s  use in the outpatient setting, there were zero hospitals and clinics in the entire state of Oregon  that were equipped to provide IV Remdesivir to patients in the outpatient setting.  Allergist/Immunologists couldn’t even access the vaccine for their clinics to give to these  patients in smaller doses to test their tolerance.  

During the extreme heat waves that occurred in July 2021, cooling centers were opened. For  those unable to vaccinate for protection, unable to access COVID-19 prophylaxis, and unable to  access safe-for-them COVID-19 therapeutics should they become infected with COVID-19, going  to a community cooling center to escape the heat, was not a safe option… even when the  temperatures got up to 105 degrees F inside the home. Trying to access cooling equipment  being on OHP Open Card was impossible as there was not a program, like the CCO’s had, for  patients to access cooling equipment, even during one of our deadliest heat waves in history.  

This writing is what came out of this experience.  

July 2021  

Dozens of people died from the heat last week.  

The case manager apologized and said there was nothing they could do. It was either a public  cooling center and the real possibility of COVID-19 or nothing. Choose. There might be a  program that might help you access an air conditioner, but you have the wrong insurance. There  is nothing for you. I’m sorry.  

Sometimes, oftentimes, it feels useless spending every ounce of energy you have fighting  insurance companies, fighting poverty, fighting the racism and ableism that permeates the air,  the same air giving life. 

When it comes down to it, no one really cares whether a person lives or dies, well, until they’re  dead. Then we hear the honorifics, the should haves; but really, if we cared, we wouldn’t build  institutions whose job it is to grind people down. To say no until folks just die.  

There is no happy ending.  

It’s only drudgery, the drudgery of plodding through cold muck in a dark, black cave. The same  cave so many before you trudged through before, are trudging through with you now, but  within their own solitude, into infinity.  

Maybe it’s only when you briefly brush elbows, millions of times, that enough friction is created  to produce heat, a brief glimmer of light. 

Maybe these sparks produce a fire so large so as to burn it all down. All of these stifling systems  that suck the oxygen out of every room in every clinic in every hospital in every region – they  suck the oxygen out of each cell who composes its own part in the symphony that sings an  organism into being. Maybe through destructive fire, and only through that, the phoenix might  be reborn.  

But that would spell hope. And we all know that hope is the traitor, the knife in one’s back.  Besides, fire requires oxygen. So no fire. No phoenix. No rebirth.  

Dozens of people died in the heat last week.

Written Story by Hassan

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019 unleashed an unprecedented crisis that  has profoundly impacted societies and individuals across the globe. The far-reaching effects of  the virus have upended daily routines, challenged healthcare systems, sparked economic  turmoil, and altered social dynamics. The Covid-19 impacted many things such as heath,  economy , social distance, education and jobs. 

COVID-19 presented an immediate and overwhelming burden on healthcare systems  worldwide. Hospitals and medical facilities strained under the weight of increased  hospitalizations, critical care demands, and shortages of essential medical supplies. This crisis  exposed vulnerabilities in healthcare infrastructure, highlighting the need for better  preparedness to combat future pandemics. The development and distribution of vaccines  emerged as a crucial global effort to curb the virus’s spread and mitigate the impact on public  health. 

The pandemic triggered an economic upheaval of historic proportions. Lockdown measures and  restrictions on business activities resulted in widespread closures, layoffs, and bankruptcies.  Numerous industries, such as travel, hospitality, and retail, faced severe setbacks, with small  businesses being particularly vulnerable. Governments implemented stimulus packages and  financial aid programs to mitigate the economic fallout, but the effects of this crisis will be felt  for years to come. 

COVID-19 brought about substantial social disruption, altering the way people live, interact, and  communicate. Strict social distancing measures, remote work, and virtual learning became the  new normal, transforming the dynamics of personal and professional relationships. Isolation  and prolonged periods of uncertainty took a toll on mental health, leading to increased levels of  anxiety, depression, and stress. The pandemic also exposed and exacerbated existing societal  inequalities, with marginalized communities disproportionately affected by the virus’s impact.  People are social distancing even though families during pandemic. 

The education sector experienced a seismic shift as schools and universities resorted to online  learning. The sudden transition to remote education highlighted the digital divide and revealed  disparities in access to technology and internet connectivity. Students faced challenges in  adapting to virtual classrooms, leading to learning loss and reduced educational outcomes. The  pandemic forced educational institutions to innovate and explore new teaching methods,  accelerating the integration of technology in education. However, students can learn online  even though shut down schools. 

Scientific Advancements and Collaborations: 

COVID-19 spurred remarkable scientific advancements and unprecedented international  collaborations. Researchers and scientists worldwide raced to develop vaccines, leading to the  development and deployment of multiple highly effective vaccines in record time. The global  scientific community collaborated on an unparalleled scale, sharing data, insights, and best practices. The pandemic demonstrated the importance of scientific research and the  significance of global cooperation in addressing global health challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a mixed impact on the environment. Temporary reductions in  travel and industrial activities resulted in lower greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality,  and a respite for ecosystems. However, increased plastic waste from medical supplies and  personal protective equipment posed a new challenge to waste management systems. The  pandemic emphasized the urgent need for sustainable practices and resilient environmental  policies. due to pandemic, environments are so quiet on the road and free way too. 

The impact of COVID-19 on societies and individuals cannot be overstated. The pandemic has  left an indelible mark on healthcare systems, economies, social interactions, education, and the  environment. While vaccines and gradual reopening offer hope for recovery, the long-term  consequences of the crisis will continue to shape our lives for years to come. It is imperative  that the lessons learned from this experience are applied to strengthen global healthcare  systems, address socio-economic disparities, and enhance preparedness for future crises. As we  navigate the aftermath of COVID-19, resilience, adaptability, and collective action will be  essential in rebuilding a more robust and equitable world. Finally, people passed all challenges  after 2022. I Believe, we are safe, happy and healthy our lives now.