Steven Cohen is assistant professor of Health Studies at U.R.I. Because of covid-19 and social distancing most of his classes have been online. He teaches epidemiology. He finds that it’s ironic that what’s keeping his classes online is epidemiology. It has been very challenging to adapt the lessons to an effective online format. He can’t wait to get back into the classroom! He believes that he has a better connection with the students when he’s interacting with them face-to-face, and an on-line format isn’t a perfect substitute for face-to-face learning. They may stay after class to ask a question or have further discussion about what they heard in class. It’s a different world!
Steven believes that we’ll come out of this stressful time stronger and more resilient. Interacting with the students and his research projects keep him going. Covid has changed the way he can carry out the research.
There are competing stresses with the responsibilities at work and those at home. Steven has two young children aged 4 and 6. The kids get up early, like kids do. Both kids attend a pod school four days a week. A group of parents got together, and hired a teacher, who basically is doing homeschooling for the six children in the program. The teacher is strict about social distancing, and the children seem to be thriving.
Steven says that it could be worse. Both he and his wife have jobs which they like. He’s looking forward to an end of the covid-19 restrictions. He would love to be able to go out to a restaurant where someone else would do the dishes! Steven and his wife, Jaime, both have parents living one hour to one and one-half hours away. They haven’t seen them face-to-face since October. They’d love to be able to visit and exchange hugs! Steven has a sister turning 50 this year. Covid-19 restrictions will impact celebrating that milestone. He’s looking forward to normal family interactions! They were having weekly Zoom meetings with family, but now, because of schedule changes, it has become more difficult to make it work.
For Steven, having a more competent government in place to lead the country through this pandemic is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, vaccine distribution will be better organized and efficient. He’s optimistic that by next year at this time things will be a lot better.
The hardest part of this has been the lack of family interaction. It’s been hard on the kids and hard on his wife.
To keep balanced, there’s more baking being done. On the week-end the family take mental health breaks where they all stay off technology for a while. Steven and his wife are thinking about buying a treadmill. The family likes going on hikes, but find that tough in the winter.
Steven and his family are grateful to everyone at the temple and the Rabbi, who are keeping things going with varied programming, Shabbat services, Hebrew School, and other kid’s stuff remotely, and in person when possible. Steven finds that really nice. He’s grateful to be part of a caring community!