COVID-19 Oral Histories – Bridget Londay
For the past few weeks, Packer’s Upper School History Club has been working on an oral history project that documents the Packer community’s experience with COVID-19. Through 30 minute interviews with various people in the community, we have been recording people’s feelings, thoughts, and stories about this global pandemic. In addition to posting select parts of the interviews to the Prism website in both transcript and video form, we are also archiving these interviews at the Brooklyn Historical Society so that we can keep a visual and written record of these testimonies for the future generations. As for now, we hope this project is a way for people to stay connected and share their unique personal stories. Each week, new interviews will be posted, so keep coming back to learn more about your classmates’, teachers’, and colleagues’ experiences during this difficult and unusual time. We hope you enjoy!
-The Leaders of History Club: Sadie Sadler, Amelia Killackey, and Nick Yohn
Bridget Londay: Head of the Health Education Department
Interviewed by: Nathalie Pridgen
Q: Why did you decide to change your lockdown location from New York City to Omaha Nebraska?
A: Um, because between my own job and homeschooling and my husband working it was getting really difficult for us to manage our own stress around that. And the biggest priority for me at this time is protecting the mental health of my children as we get through this thing and I thought that they would be less stressed with more loving adults and more space to play.
Q: What role should the government, both federal and city, should play in treating the impact of the disease? Economically, medically, socially, laws, etc.?
A: Well [sight], my personal opinion is that the government should uhh especially our government has the resources to bring the very best scientists to give us the most accurate possible. And that the government should follow scientific guidelines. And that should be the recommendation and that they should model good behavior. Um, in terms of economics [pause] I think it would be great I think they had to give out stimulus checks because of the way our system is developed, but I think that if there was some form of universal health care and if there were more social services in place and safety nets then this would not be such a scramble to keep people afloat. Um, so I hope that some of those policies change.
Q: How do you think the pandemic will impact your generation and your children’s generation?
A: So I think for my generation it forced a lot of people to become more familiar with technology. Umm [pause] and um I think that you know [pause] it’s done a lot for the arts that I think that a lot of musicians and actors and artist who have put out beautiful content to help people like just find joy in the small things that um a lot of people in my generation will now understand more sort of the allure of technology that uh teenagers have. And then for my kid’s generation [pause], you know it will be different for them than for you because they are so much younger. I think my five-year-old will have some memories of this but not too many. I think my 8-year-old will think of it as kind of um, hopefully, a fun adventure where we played outside a lot and we played a ton of board games and we drove 20 hours across the country. You know I think for him his narrative will be more that this was like something we concurred as a family. Umm [pause] and I’m hoping that for the teenagers that go through this that this is a defining moment in your life of understanding what you’re made of. You know that sometimes these things happen and we have it in us to persist and get through it and come out stronger on the other side.
See more of Ms. Londay’s interview in the video below: