Rudolph and Hattie Powell are used to being on the go, but are busy now from the safety of their home in the West End. Mrs. Powell is a retired Richmond teacher and Mr. Powell is the retired director of 4-H programs in Virginia and a contributing photographer at the Richmond Free Press. “We make more phone calls to church and organization members and send a lot of cards and emails to the sick and bereaved,” the couple said. Because of the pandemic, they have “more time to listen to music, read and FaceTime with the grandchildren.”
Ashley Williams, with her dog, Sebastian, a pit bull-spaniel mix, on the front porch of her East End home, is happy to stay in during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her family, she says, has experienced health scares in recent weeks, both related and unrelated to the coronavirus. “I have always valued family and friends, yet the communication with loved ones is even more cherished than before,” said the founder of BareSOUL Yoga. The experience also has shifted how she connects with people and the community — through online offerings and resources. The silver lining? “I am able to appreciate, explore and enjoy my home.”
Paul Rucker, a visual artist, musician and composer, sits with his cello on the steps of his home in Downtown. He is an iCubed Arts Research Fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University. The pandemic, he said, “offers those, especially with privilege, a time for reflection. I think this is an opportunity to evaluate and move in new directions. This is not a time for fear.”
Gail Harris, a therapist, cook and photographer, stands on the steps of her North Side home. She likes that the world has slowed down. “We’re becoming humane,” she said. “I hope we get from this a heightened sense of senses ... I hope we continue to feed one another with truth. I hope we listen. I mostly hope we see our neighbors, friends, family and the world at all times, not just when we’re scared and dying.”
Sarah Choi gets to spend more time with her son, Maximino Guertler Choi, at their Lakeside home in Henrico County without the interruption of day care. The 46-year-old marketing consultant sees that as her silver lining during this time. Her son, she said, is 21⁄2 and exploding with new words and expressions each day. “It’s amazing to be the first person to witness his progress,” she said.