Comfort At Home

Client Interviews About Their Adjustment To The Coronavirus

By Iris Davis-Quick

Posted on April 15, 2020
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Before the city went into lockdown, my home was a secluded rural sanctuary. A place where I could get away from hustle and bustle and have some quiet time. It was a place where my kids could roam on the land and pick up sticks and play a long game of fetch with the dog. But now, with the spread of the coronavirus, my countryside piece of heaven gives me anxiety. I am a people person. I love being around people, talking to people, seeing people. And while I physically live in the country, I spend most of my time in Austin. Now that I spend almost all my time in my house without seeing anyone, well, my ‘happy people tank’ is running on fumes.

As the days pass, I find that I’m coping by enjoying the comforts of my bed. With my trusty headboard and cozy quilt, my bed has become a place for quiet. A place to process my day and a place to write and create.

I thought it would be interesting to reach out to a few of our clients about their experience dealing with self-isolation in their homes and the different ways their lives and schedules have changed in the past few weeks. The following interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Family hug
Smell the plants

CG&S/IDQ: What does your home mean to you now that you’re in isolation?

Lindsay Olinde: We feel so grateful that the project was done before isolation [laughs]. The sight lines are so peaceful. And the natural light/windows keeps us connected to the outdoors and community.

Jolene Frank: There’s no place I’d rather be than in my home. Even before our renovation. The biggest adjustment is not having people over and I’ve lived here for 30 years!

Stephanie Owens: I jokingly refer to it as “my house” because I’m in it most of the time and there’s a bit of adjustment because I’m having to share “my house” with the rest of the family (the kids are home from school and my husband is working from home). This is forcing us to define new spaces and nooks.

CG&S/IDQ: Have you found or created a safe place in your home to retreat to?

Lindsay: The backyard pulling weeds. My girls don’t want to help with that, so it’s just “me” time.

Jolene: My bedroom. Windows open, comfy chair, and a book.

Stephanie: Within the first few days of being inside, I started moving furniture around. I ended up creating a desk space in my bedroom. I sit and write. Also, the laundry room has a door and no one wants to go in there so... [laughs].

Game time

Above images of the Olinde-Kugler family at home

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CG&S/IDQ: What has been your biggest coping mechanism during this isolation period?

Lindsay: Hope for the future. You can’t have hope for the future without the knowledge of the past. Because we went through something challenging, we know we can get through what’s to come.

Jolene: Alcohol [laughing]. I’m joking. Online pilates! But I really do love my house, so it’s not too much of a burden because of where I live.

Stephanie: I’m a bit of a news junky, so I’ve had to curtail that. My kids are pretty great and I’m trying to enjoy this time with them.

CG&S/IDQ: Have you gotten creative with your schedule throughout the day?

Lindsay: We do the best we can. My husband Joseph is still working at the hospital, so I try to work during the quiet times of the day: before the girls wake up, at nap time and after they go to bed. And I’ve set up a make-shift desk out of boxes [laughs].

Jolene: I was volunteering every Thursday at synagogue, but can’t do that anymore. Then every Wednesday night girlfriends would come over to play cards, which has stopped. I also played Mahjong twice a week and that has stopped. [My husband] Allan played poker 3 nights a week, so we’re spending a lot more time together obviously [laughs].

Stephanie: The kids need some type of structure. We make a plan for the day and try to set a time to get out for a walk or do something physical outside. During this time though, we also have a project under construction, which does affect this isolation period. If we’d known, we’d started the project 6 months prior [laughs]. The new kid zone and backyard is under construction. But the big piles of dirt make great targets for archery. You can’t miss!

Kitchen orchid

Above images: Jolene Frank in her comfort zone and her light filled kitchen

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Detail artifacts

CG&S/IDQ: Even though we’re physically isolated, I feel like we’ve never been as socially connected to each other with the internet, social media etc. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Lindsay: For us, a lot of the cool, free things online that I’m interested in turns out are not that interesting to the girls. While I want to take a virtual tour of the Met, the girls would rather make arts and crafts. We have been doing Facetime with my oldest’s class to connect with classmates.

Jolene: I’ve been doing more group texts with friends and family. Asking little things like “What’s for dinner?” Since we’re not getting out of the house, what else are we gonna do?


Technology is not my strong suit. I don’t Facebook, but I am on Instagram. I still get my media from papers or online papers. KUT radio. I get a little overwhelmed with video and the kids need Facetime to connect with their friends and classmates. Our relatives use video to connect too. I’d prefer a phone call, so thanks for calling me!

Dining living owens

Stephanie Owens with her curated corner and unified kitchen and dining space

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