How life has changed, how to pass the time

Books and Miniatures on display

Books and miniatures adorn a bookshelf at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., March. 30, 2020. Reading books and making miniature figurines are two hobbies people can take part in to stay entertained during a pandemic like the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

Airman's Video gaming set up with gaming chair

Airman Quentin K. Marx, a 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, shows his laptop setup at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., March 30, 2020. Playing video games with friends and family is one way to stay updated on the lives of loved ones and how they are doing during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

Ellsworth Air Force Base S.D. --

I am a photojournalist and my job requires me to photograph and write about events on Ellsworth AFB, and to highlight the 28th Bomb Wing’s mission of combat power, anytime, anywhere. 

As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the U.S., my responsibilities have since changed. Many events have been cancelled as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of viruses, and I now cover topics that are COVID-19 related, such as changes in entry procedures to the Commissary.

When I occasionally leave my room to either work or get food from the Raider Café, or restaurants in the local area, I notice a lot has changed around me in my daily life that I used to take for granted.
The flow of traffic has decreased and there are hand sanitizer stations in the Commissary, the Raider Café and the BX to promote healthy and sanitary habits.

Many stores are closed due to an ordinance passed by Rapid City to limit non-essential travel and shopping during this time. Stores have even changed their work hours to allow less human contact and provide employees additional time to stock essential supplies and clean their facilities for the next day.

All these precautions, both on our installation and in our surrounding communities, are things I never thought would happen in my lifetime. It is very new for me and, I think, for everyone in the world.
Even in these trying times, I am doing my best to find ways to stay entertained and occupied.

When not working, I play video games with friends and family, or playing story games when those friends are not online. Playing video games with my loved ones allows me to see how they are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staying in touch with my family is very important to me, and knowing how my loved ones are doing just keeps me sane and reduces the stressors in my daily life.

I also try my best to add some variety to my life by reading books and working on my new hobby – making and painting miniature figures.

Television streaming services and staying up to date on my shows provides another pastime, and at least for me is very relaxing, which in turn provides another way for me to break away from the craziness that is life.

What we are experiencing is temporary and knowing this and that the people I love are okay is what keeps me going. The grass will be greener on the other side of the hill.

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