How the MOV is Getting Through Self-Quarantine

After announcements came about closing Ohio bowling alleys, movie theaters and other public gathering places — including dining in at bars and restaurants —  those in the Mid Ohio Valley are left with few entertainment options as they and the rest of the nation wait out COVID-19 through self-quarantine, social distancing and other crucial measures. 

A poll conducted by Clutch MOV indicated that, as of Wednesday afternoon, 71% of responders were self-quarantining. Some common activities being done during this downtime included things like working from home, reading, crafting, watching Netflix, talking to friends and family on FaceTime or over the phone, and playing card games. Many described entertaining and educating children, who are now out of school in both Ohio and West Virginia. 

Clutch MOV spoke with some area residents about how they are passing time while keeping themselves and others safe.

Brad and Colleen Pierce, both 34, were traveling home to Vincent, OH from a planned vacation in California last week when the news got more worrisome, the couple said. They left Friday, March 7 and ended up coming home a day earlier than scheduled, on March 13. 

“We were supposed to go to Disneyland on Friday,” Colleen Pierce said. “But the news kept getting worse from the day we got there, that entire week.”

The Pierces while on vacation in Joshua Tree National Park in California

While the two had prepared in terms of packing sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer, it wasn’t until they saw a live broadcast from California’s governor that they knew the hot spot they were currently in was taking a turn.

“Every TV had the governor on it,” said Colleen Pierce. “It was the first time we watched TV all week and we were just looking around, seeing what was happening.”

The couple decided to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return. Brad Pierce, a physician assistant (PA), made his employers aware and called his mother, another medical professional.

“I told her we were going to do a voluntary self-quarantine and she offered to get us food,” he said. “We met her and she handed off some groceries, we kept our distance, no embrace. We just got our groceries and came home. We haven’t left the house since we got back.”

To pass the time, they have been FaceTiming friends, calling family and playing card games with friends over video chat. A friend who lives nearby has been bringing supplies as needed.

“We have actually gotten back into The Office, which we had been sitting on season 7 of,” said Colleen Pierce. 

Brad Pierce has been working from home, something he has been unaccustomed to.

“I’ve played some video games, just taking a couple of breaks,” he said. “At least for me, I feel on high alert. Anxiety has been a thing. I’m just trying not to look at the news too much.”

Brianna Bodie lives in Parkersburg. She works as an office manager and does maintenance for a local park.

Brianna and her daughter, Akaya, 13

“It’s been weird for us,” said Bodie, 36. “The week before the quarantine, my husband had to go to North Carolina to take care of his injured aunt. Since then, school has been canceled and I’ve been taking my daughter to work with me every day and working in a homeschooling routine while doing my regular job.”

She said she and her daughter, who has special needs, have been doing well with their new schedule, but added that “the uncertainty is definitely looming.” 

“It’s very strange to be estranged during a time like this from your companion,” she said. “But it’s been a time of reflection. It feels like we’re on the cusp of something bigger.”

Ashley Ward is a correctional program coordinator who lives and works in Caldwell. 

“My husband hasn’t been to work in approximately three weeks after we got back from our cruise vacation,” said Ward, 29. “I’ve been working in a prison through all of it.”

Ward said she and her husband have succeeded so far in keeping their kids busy with homework and spending time outside. She has done what she feels she can in order to prepare for a longer haul.

“I refuse to let my kids be anywhere with large crowds, so I try to grocery shop when they are not with me,” Ward said. “I stocked up on medications that will keep us comfortable and food that keeps in the freezer.”

Devan Gordon, 29, is a graphic designer for an area print shop in Parkersburg. She designed a humorous T-shirt, referring to the fact that West Virginia was the 50th and final state to have a reported case of COVID-19.

“I sold about 36 of them in about 2 days,” Gordon said. “Sales have pretty much stopped but I bought extra shirts just in case.”

While she does not intend to make light of a serious situation, she is also worried about generating income in the coming weeks of uncertainty.

“I had mixed feelings about designing and printing them,” she said. “Like, I don’t think it’s a funny joke because of the truth behind what is happening to our state [in terms of lack of testing], but I knew that I was going to be taking a huge hit of lack of income and jobs because of this virus.”

Gordon also gave a nod to local donut shop JR’s Donut Castle, which cheered customers with custom-designed cookies with toilet paper rolls and bottles of Clorox iced on them.

“I saw an opportunity to make a little money… and keep people laughing, so I went with it,” she said.