“Honestly, lockdown for me was not really a lockdown because I became essential because I had to work during the pandemic.”– Julianna DeLuca
Julianna DeLuca transferred to Merrimack for the fall semester of 2020. In her interview, DeLuca details her experiences working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, MA, while also attending classes during the pandemic. She discusses the difficulties involved in juggling her work and the transition to online learning in the spring of 2020, her experiences as a frontline essential worker while much of society was on lockdown, as well as her experience transferring to a new school in the middle of the pandemic. DeLuca also describes how these experiences made her stronger as person and changed her views on life.
Ana Maria Serratos Vela: So because it was in March when the first lockdown started happening in Massachusetts, what did the lockdown look like for you and, obviously, what was the hardest part? I know that you were also in school, so if you could just elaborate on that as well.
Julianna DeLuca: Honestly lockdown for me wasn’t really lockdown because I became essential because I had to work during the pandemic. We all got called to the hospital to work–we all had you know, we had different like actual like acute care staff coming in because we needed the help so bad because we’re getting hit hard so lockdown for me wasn’t really lockdown because I was constantly going to work and constantly helping you know fighting through this. But when I was like before work I would participate in school online. So that was a little hard because, you know, online you kind of can’t focus–you’re at home and you get a lot of distractions and then you have this virus on your mind, so like that was kind of hard and like another hard part was when I was working in this pandemic and fighting COVID, I was scared that I was going to bring it home to my family because I had no idea what this virus was, of course, at the time. And I didn’t know if it was coming home with me with all my clothes so like that was kind of hard, because I kind of had to distance myself from my family, and you know I went through like a phase where I like I mentally like it hit me where I was like, oh my God, like I can’t do this, like this is a lot, like I don’t want to get sick and I don’t want anything to happen to me or my family–like that was like kind of hard and then–you know you kind of tough talk yourself through it, like you, gown up, you do all the right protocols, you kind of just have to say your prayers that nothing happens. Like, I think that was like the biggest part that I was very scared of.
The interview was conducted over Zoom in Manchester, NH and Tewksbury, MA, on December 3, 2021 by Ana Maria Serratos Vela.
This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.