Community Diary Response from Genine B.

2020-04-28 / B., Genine

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Entry into the Community Diary. Includes color photo of meatballs.

~ B., Genine, “Community Diary Response from Genine B.,” Portsmouth Public Library's Online Archives, accessed May 29, 2024, https://portsmouthexhibits.org/items/show/2415.

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Community Diary Response from Genine B.


COVID-19 (Disease)
Portsmouth (N.H.)


Entry into the Community Diary. Includes color photo of meatballs.


B., Genine


Community Diary: Portsmouth Covid-19 Pandemic 2020


Portsmouth Public Library, Special Collections










PPL-MS: 2020.4.001

Diary Item Type Metadata

Tell us a bit about your situation during this time period (employed / remote learning / caring for loved ones / sick / quarantined / etc.)

"Currently, I am one of the many furloughed workers facing an uncertain future. Before the pandemic and the subsequent shutdown, I was working in kitchens as a cook.

"During the shutdown, I turned back to toymaking. Sewing has been a hobby of mine for a long time, and I hand stitch everything. I sell my toys at Good Juju in Newmarket, they're a wonderful small business that focuses on local artisans."

Share an uplifting story of neighbors helping neighbors or a story that made you smile during this time

"There is a wild turkey who visits the neighborhood, she's an icon, everyone knows her by different names. One day early on in the shutdown, we were talking to our next door neighbor and they mentioned how much they love seeing the turkey. We've gotten to know our neighbor a little, but in that cordial New England kind of way. Through the love of this wild animal, they ended up sharing their number with us so they could send us their videos of the turkey. Thank you, Maude!"

What memory of this time do you think will stay with you?

"The capacity for human kindness. I have seen a lot of ugliness too, but I will remember the small acts of kindness."

Has this experience changed you? If so, how?

"Yes, but for the better. It's made me do a lot of introspective work. I've become more aware of the things around me, and a lot more grateful too. It's also challenged me to refocus my energy and my career plan. While at times it has frustrated me, I am thankful for the closeness I have found with my partner as well as myself. Most importantly, it has brought me back to Buddhist teachings."

What has been the most challenging part of this experience?

"Honestly, it has been the uncertainty. While I hold a small hope that things can return to some normalcy, I have found myself angry and, at times, hopeless. The lack of care from federal and state governments has been frustrating. The five weeks of no payment has been difficult, along with the knowledge that the path to recovery will be a long and laborious process.

"The most treacherous part is the road ahead, and I, like many, have worried if there will be a job to come back to once this is over. I also live in a state heavily dependent on tourism, which is a concern - not just to the health of everyone in my state, but in the long term. "

Explain or describe the shared photograph(s)

"This is a picture of meatballs that I cooked on a Saturday afternoon. (Once browned on all sides, I finished them off in the oven to cook). I had spent most of that day prepping and preparing a meal for my partner and myself.

"Usually Saturdays were working days for us, and we never had time together to enjoy them. I decided to treat my partner to 'nonna' cooking - meatballs being one of my Grammy's specialities. She would put raisins inside them and this was the first time my partner had ever tried meatballs with raisins! (He enjoyed them). Having the time to cook and really prepare a meal has been something I've really enjoyed during this difficult time. Food can be restorative, especially when it's cooked from the heart."