Anxiety And Uncertainty: Pittsburghers Grapple With The Unknown During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Anxiety And Uncertainty: Pittsburghers Grapple With The Unknown During The Coronavirus Pandemic

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – How much more can you take?

Five months into the pandemic the impact of restrictions and cautions are everywhere you turn and in everything you do.


“You know its like life is not the same as it once was,” laments Beth Slaby of Churchill, “So there’s days when it bothers me more than others, I try to put it out of my head. It’s hard because it’s a new world we are living in.”


In the shadows of the mostly vacant downtown skyscrapers, Edwin Yu from the South Side longs for relief.


“It’s stressful with a lot of unknowns. Numbers are rising in different places, just a lot of unknowns we don’t know what’s going on.”


Camile Matthews from the West end agrees, “I don’t feel very good about it. It’s closing down everything, can’t sit down in a restaurant, have a nice meal, it’s depressing.”


Meghan Pohl lives in Saxonburg and says she and her co-workers agree its hard to put a finger on.


“Just anxiety. There’s always this underlying anxiety I feel and I can never pinpoint it and I know we talk about it at work we all kind of feel that way and there’s just this level of energy that none of us really like.”


For some like Malcolm Mott from Wilkinsburg, there is the frustration that more progress isn’t being made to stop the spread. He blames it on people not taking it seriously,


“People need to inform themselves until they do it’s just going to keep going the way it’s going.”


Walking through Pittsburgh’s Strip District Jen Brogan from Dormont says the pandemic is oppressive.


“I’m tired of it. It’s definitely wearing on me. I just feel isolated and lonely most of the time. Not being able to do my normal activities my social things, working from home is getting kind of tiresome.”


She’s not alone.


“Not being able to get out as little as I do is like hard,” says Julian Henry of Penn Hills, “and just interacting with people it’s a little more closed off, people are more distant and it’s kind of sad.”


“I hope they find a cure for it soon, a vaccine,” was how Steve Juliana of Highland Park put into words the wish of everyone.


When you tap the thoughts of people on the streets it is far from scientific but it can be illuminating about where people are right now.


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For instance, on the issue of whether children should return to their classrooms Tiny Camy of Greenfield says, “I worry about kids going back to school, nobody really knows what the right answer is.”


“We all want to see the kids go back and the kids want to go back but I don’t know,” ponders Meghan Pohl of Saxonburg.


Camille Matthews from the West End says keeping her daughter at home is a no brainer, “I’m keeping her online I don’t want her around other kids right now to catch the corona.”


But Michael Tambellini from Franklin Park says kids need to be in school.


“The in-person and physical contact and social interaction between kids is one of the biggest parts of school.”


Brogan doesn’t disagree but she says right now, “It just seems to be counterintuitive to bring people together in a space like that.”


“Kids need that interaction,” says Samatha Taylor from Wilmerding who is thinking outside the box, “I mean we have Heinz Field why don’t we put the kids in Heinz Field six feet apart and have one teacher.”


But Slaby says no matter where you bring the kids together, “You know its inevitable that someone is going to come down with coronavirus and then the schools are going to have to shut down.”


As for fall sports Matthews feel strongly, “I don’t think they should play fall sports cause your in close contact. Well they should at least have extra precautions and stuff like that.”


Yu disagrees, “I think looking at the trend it is probably not a good idea.”


While Juliana is adament “I think that they should play, I mean people aren’t dropping dead on the street from this virus. When that starts happening then i’m going to be concerned.”


A lot of strong opinions but weaving through them all a clear sense of frustration with this pandemic boat we are all on together with no sign of land.