COVID-19 – Then and now

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With so many COVID-19 restrictions being lifted and more and more people being vaccinated, folks are finally able to return to their normal activities. The Tribune stopped by the Farmer’s Market Thursday morning to chat with people about what they thought the hardest thing about the past year has been, and what they are relieved to be doing once again. Here is what they had to say.  

(Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune) 

Keith Smith- Gold Ridge 

 “Having the COVID virus- that was the worst part of all of it. I spent one day in the hospital and took the infusion and came home.  Continue to get better, but this was the worst crap I’ve ever had in my life. It was like having sinus, asthma, COVID, flu and I just felt terrible. Our whole family had it. One of the worst things about it was having it, plus not being able to see my grandkids because we were flat quarantined for two weeks.” 

“I’m over it and I am vaccinated, and I’m not worried about it very much. A lot of people didn’t take this stuff for serious, but they should have. My advice to anybody about the vaccine–I would take it!”  

(Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune) 

Betty Voigt- Hanceville 

“The worst was not being able to go anywhere and not being able to go to church. I love my church, but you know, you gotta do what you gotta do.”  

“Now I get to go to church, farmer’s market and get out and about. I get to see my neighbors and my grandchildren. That’s most of my activities.”  

(Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

Dinah “Gypsy” Wisinger– Hanceville 

“The hardest was when my great-grandson got the virus. He was 11 months old and he was sick but he never had to go to the hospital. I had two great-grandchildren born last year and it bothered me like the dickens to not being able to go to the hospital when they were born. I sat in the car in the parking lot.” 

“The second hardest was having to stay home all the time in the beginning. The third hardest was having to wear a mask. I got vaccinated just to keep from wearing a mask. We were worried about everybody getting it and prayed every morning. I hated being in quarantine. I do all of this to keep busy and I didn’t want to sit at home and get stiff.  

“Going to a restaurant, taking the babies to the park and taking them to the market–pretty much, besides that–I did what I wanted to do. I wore my mask because I was supposed to.  

(Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

Arnold Caylor- Cullman 

“Not being able to do your normal routine. We pretty well stayed put during the worst of it. The only time would be when we would go to the grocery store and some places we had to go. Not having day-to-day interaction with people. That was probably the worst part.”  

“The best part now is seeing people get around and getting out and about. I still wear my mask if I go to Wal-Mart or somewhere like that. If I am out in the open, I don’t. I am vaccinated now. Seeing more businesses open–it was tough on the small businesses and restaurants and the people who work at restaurants. I think people are more aware of their local farmers and local businesses now.” 

(Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

Nancy Howze Scott- Cullman 

“The hardest part of last year was not being able to substitute teach at Cullman Middle and Cullman High School! I missed the interaction with the students desperately!! The students inspire, motivate and energize me!! It was delightful to return to school mid-March! During the months at home, there was sooo much uncertainty…how long is this going to last?? Will I ever have a normal life again?? Now I do NOT take anything for granted; the joy of seeing the sparkle in my students’ eyes and the smiles on their faces, eating inside a restaurant. HUGS!! I am a huge ‘hugger’ and felt terribly restricted!! Not being able to invite my family, grandchildren and friends inside my home.” 

 “My greatest joy and the ‘thing’ that kept me occupied and happy was getting a new cocker spaniel puppy, Buttercup! I secretly wanted a puppy for several years! Suddenly, I had plenty of time to train a puppy and spend quality time with her. We walked every day, took long drives, had every meal together and became best friends!”  

Another big thing occurred to make quarantine time very pleasant…..a small church of which I am not a member, Sharon Grove Methodist, in Trimble, began Sunday, 9:00 a.m. drive-in services!!!  Many, many cars crowded into that parking area every Sunday morning to clearly hear God’s word preached and the plan of salvation presented in a very powerful way by Rev. Paul Campbell!!!!  Buttercup and I listened to every word and sang along with the wonderful choir as they joyfully sang precious and meaningful hymns!!!”

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com