Author: The Bridge Staff

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QUARANTINE CORNER: Dealing with the pandemic – Part 2

QUARANTINE CORNER: Dealing with the pandemic – Part 2

By Jessica Rodriguez
Director of Photography
Published Monday, April 27, 2020

[Editor’s note: The following is the second installment in a series of articles about different Texas A&M International University students, faculty and staff who are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope their stories can be as inspiring to you as we found them to be.]

Staying at home 24/7 during an almost catastrophic pandemic can be daunting. However, for Texas A&M International University art student Elkin Cortez, he sees this as an opportunity to get back to his creative ventures.

Cortez possesses multiple talents, including art, photography and even a knack for making YouTube videos in his spare time. He says that now, more than ever, he can focus on his passions.

“I am spending a lot of time on my favorite activities during this quarantine,” Cortez said. “Activities such as painting, drawing, videos and photos.”

For many students, the transition from regular college life to a secluded online routine can be challenging. Cortez came to TAMIU from Miguel Aleman Tamaulipas and returned home when the campus transitioned to online classes.

“My routine changed completely because I was living on campus and now I am at home with my family,” he said. “Therefore, the living routine is different.”

COVID-19 undoubtedly altered people’s lives but there are always ways to reshape this new way of life. Students now have time to explore new hobbies and get creative at home. Because of what is going on in the world, new leisure activities can be helpful, both physically and mentally.

He said that although many students are in different situations, he still encourages them to get as creative and productive as possible.

“Try to be as efficient as you can with the time you have,” Cortez said. “Try to strengthen your skills or develop new ones if it’s possible.”

Submitted images | courtesy Elkin Cortez
Elkin Cortez paints in his room during the stay-at-home quarantine.

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Espinosa reflects on season

Espinosa reflects on season

By Julynne da Silva Sa
Bridge contributing writer
Published Monday, April 27, 2020

Coach Jeremy Espinosa took over coaching responsibilities for the men’s basketball team, following the absence of coach Joel Taylor. On the transition from assistant coach to calling the shots, he talks about the challenges he overcame in order to be seen differently by his players.

“The biggest challenge was changing the vibe of the team in a positive way,” Espinosa said. “At the same time not being too soft on the players. Creating that balance took time, but now it’s at a place where I can have fun with the players off the court and be strictly business once it’s time to get to work.” 

Before he started coaching, Espinosa played junior college ball in Oklahoma and finished his career at Newman University, in Wichita, Kansas. He described his coaching career as a “roller coaster,” moving through winning and losing seasons. It also took him places where those experiences helped expand his coaching knowledge.

“I have learned to take losses as opportunities to grow and be better,” he said. “I have also learned how to be a professional in winning.”

Since he took the reins, the team dynamics changed. He thinks the team adapted well and shows it through hard work as they transform efforts into wins. 

“I felt like it took the guys a little bit to get used to a different dominant voice,” Espinosa said. “In games, I see that they really want to play hard for me, which means a lot. Now we have to translate playing hard into winning games and figuring out how to win games together.”

Calvin Fugett, a junior from Denver, says Espinosa’s character helped the team build chemistry and learn how to work together. He thinks this opportunity showed the coach’s passion for the game but also his care for his players.

“Coach E is a very caring and hard-working coach,” Fugett said. “We can see that he wants the best for his players on and off the court. He’s a fun guy, and a very family oriented person.” 

He is not the only teammate with a positive opinion on Espinosa’s work. Freshman Adrian Nosa of Madrid, Spain, also feels confident about his coaching performance.

“Coach Espinosa works really, really hard and really cares about us,” Nosa said. “He always makes sure that we all feel good with whatever situation we are in. He’s definitely made me feel more comfortable playing basketball and he brings confidence to the team.”

The Dustdevils experienced a season of ups and downs. They continued working and making adjustments as the season continued on. Espinosa believes even though they won few of their games, the season was full of learning experiences for the team.

“It’s been a great year even though the scoreboard doesn’t always show [that],” he said prior to the end of the season. “I appreciate the hard work that the guys bring to the table. I plan on finishing this season strong and build some great chemistry leading into next season.”

The 2019-2020 season ended for both men’s and women’s basketball teams during the annual Senior Night event. With Taylor’s resignation from coaching at TAMIU, the spot opened up for applicants.

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Chasing ‘black gold’

Chasing ‘black gold’

By Tiffani De La O
Bridge contributing writer
Published Monday, April 27, 2020

Three hours North of Laredo lies one of many oilfield drilling rigs. These rigs run around the clock without any means of stopping, which makes this profession one of the most demanding in the world. 

Working in the oilfields backtracks to 1859 when the first American oil well was discovered. OPEC started up in 1960 in order to coordinate and create a union between 14 of its members, all foreign countries—the U.S. not among them.

Under the guidelines of that organization, crude oil is being drilled every day, worldwide, to produce energy, gasoline and other resources used on a daily basis. Each barrel, which contains about 40 gallons of crude oil, makes 19 gallons of gasoline. The workforce, which contributes to this organization, comes from drilling companies with crew members who are from different backgrounds and ethnicities.

For Gustavo Chavez, 23, of Laredo, it was one of his dreams to be able to have the chance and experience life in the oilfields. After having a rough childhood, which ranged from poverty to displacement, he decided to get up and make his life better even if it meant being far from home. That is when he became a floor hand for Helmrich & Payne.

“Just like any person, you work at a different job and there is word of mouth that better jobs are out there which pay $2,000 a week,” Chavez said about his motivations. “That is when I decided I have to give it a try because I wanted to better my life and start making good money.”

Ryan Flores pursued a welding career in Oklahoma City before coming to Laredo.

“[It’s] always hard work for everyone, day in and day out, with busted hands and feet,” Flores said of working in the Laredo fields. 

A typical day in the oilfields is nothing less than hot, it gets even worse during the summer. Texas heat will have one of these workers dehydrating and sweating their pores out. Shifts range from 12 to 16 hours, sometimes with no days off for weeks. On workdays, shifts begin with a safety meeting to update the crew on what happens with the rig and about ongoing operations. 

“The meeting is a safety measure to prevent any accidents or to learn about the dangers going through the operations such as drilling, tripping in or out the hole, and other crucial things,” Chavez said. “My primary job as a floor hand is cleaning, maintaining, organizing and being that extra hand the crew might need. It’s like being a custodian for the rigs.”

Flores, on the other hand, would be pre-inspecting equipment to be used and welding metals for the rig with equipment such as grinders, torches, bevel machines and more. “It is usually done way before a rig moves in,” Flores said of the welding process. “It is the main stage for frac welding, or even after in case a pipe has a leak or has been broken.”

Those who work in the fields admit how difficult the work can be.

“Being out on a location is tough but we create a bond through our work ethic,” Chavez said. “You see different kinds of people but there’s people that won’t put out or don’t last their full hitch.”

In fact, the work is so intensive they rarely find time to joke or relax.

“[There’s] not much horsing around,” Flores said. “You have to be alert for anything serious such as [hydrogen sulfide] gas or any explosion on live gas.”

Just like most jobs, some overachieve and others remain satisfied with the work they do—they don’t go the extra mile.

“Not everyone’s work ethic is the same,” he said.

The oilfield lifestyle is not for most, it is a demanding job that puts stress on the crew members who are working far from home. This can also affect life back at home because this career does not allow workers to get up and go home whenever they would like. The people working at Rig 626 have living quarters fully equipped with working stoves, fridges, restrooms and other appliances, but it is not as comfortable as one’s own bed.

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QUARANTINE CORNER: Dealing with the pandemic – Part 1

TAMIU together: dealing with the pandemic

By Angela K. Carranza
Bridge Staff Writer
Published Monday, April 20, 2020

[Editor’s note: The following is the first installment in a series of articles about different Texas A&M International University students, faculty and staff who are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope their stories can be as inspiring to you as we found them to be.]

Daniel Rodriguez
TAMIU senior

During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals discover how to keep themselves busy in many different ways. For example, some take up different hobbies: cooking, reading, gaming, etc. But for Texas A&M International University senior Daniel Rodriguez, a variety of hobbies keep him occupied throughout the day.

“I have been living alone for quite some time now, which has forced me to cook and be more independent,” Rodriguez said. “I have also gained some hobbies back, such as: gardening, playing Sudoku and playing video games.”

On another note, Rodriguez said life changed when his self-quarantine began.

“In this time of quarantine, I have been thinking about how we often live life in a rush,” he reflected. “This realization made me take more time with things at a slower pace.” 

Submitted photos | courtesy Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez cooks at home during his self-quarantine.

Ruben Reyes
TAMIU sophomore

Quarantine impacts students in many different ways. Some students see it as an advantage to finally beginning the things they had no time for previously, but others find it difficult adjusting to this period of self-isolation. At home, find many distractions.

“My entire routine has completely changed,” sophomore Ruben Reyes said. “It is really hard getting adjusted to this, being at home, 24/7. I was used to going to school at a certain time, going to work at a certain time, and now that we’re stuck at home there’s really nothing I can do.”

In contrast, there are also many things Reyes has been able to dedicate his time to.

“I’ve pretty much been gaming and spending time with my friends online,” he said. “During these last few weeks, I’ve been virtually meeting online with my friends on Discord. We just hang out as if we were hanging out in person, except through Discord.”

Reyes also runs a gaming YouTube account where he uploads gaming videos.

“Lately, I have been able to do more content creation, mainly because I am sponsored by a gaming organization through YouTube, and I did not get the chance to do this as much during the semester because of classes,” he said.

Interested persons may view his YouTube channel: rubenkings.

submitted photo | courtesy Ruben Reyes

Maria Hernandez
TAMIU student

During this self-imposed quarantine, many individuals adapt quite differently.

“Quarantine has mainly impacted me with my schoolwork,” Texas A&M International University student Maria Hernandez said. “It is harder to concentrate because my family is with me all the time. And there are not many places that I could go to do my schoolwork.”

For some, the forced introverted life might seem repetitive.

“Well, basically, [I’m] just doing house chores, homework, watching TV—the minimum stuff,” Hernandez said. “I have also been getting into doing arts and crafts with polymer clay. I usually just decorate things, like I have recently been decorating plant pots.”

She said she is also quite fond of self-quarantine.

“I get to be with my family and live with them,” Hernandez said. “I don’t live with my family, but in this quarantine I have been spending my time with my family.”

submitted photos | courtesy Maria Hernandez

Alyssa Veronica
TAMIU junior

This self-quarantine life has many different impacts on Texas A&M International University students. For some it turns harsh, yet for others beneficial.

“I would actually say that quarantine has benefited me,” TAMIU junior Alyssa Veronica said. “I finally have time to do things around the house. Now I can actually cook. I have been cooking all my meals which is great because I love to cook. And before I hadn’t had the chance to do so because of school.”

“I’m very into nutrition, I like to watch what I eat and find different healthy options that are easy to make,” Veronica said.

In addition, she finds some things too restrictive.

“I think the least favorite thing about quarantine would have to be the restrictions, in terms of going out,” she said. “Like, you can’t go to a friend’s house. You can’t hang out with anybody.

“But my most favorite part about quarantine is that I don’t really have to wake up for class, get ready and find parking. So I would say my favorite part is not having to worry about parking.”

Many students posted about parking issues online in the TAMIU Student Network page on Facebook prior to the impact of COVID-19. 

Veronica turned a not-so-happy situation to her advantage as now finds time to do things she really loves. Despite these “difficult times,” as many people are calling them, some find it important to always look for the bright side in every situation. 

submitted photo | courtesy Alyssa Veronica
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Education students tackle the blocks

Education students tackle the blocks

College relaxes grading system

By Andrea Martinez
Bridge contributing writer
Published Monday, April 20, 2020

TAMIU’s College of Education holds one of the highest graduation rates in the University. However, the College does not allow students who do not pass the teacher certification exams to move on to Blocks II and III of the program.

Up to three blocks exist for education students in order to graduate, yet some students are finding a difficult time graduating due to incomplete blocks.

“We want to demonstrate to the school districts that these students showed that they are knowledgeable in the subject they teach,” Associate Dean Alfredo Ramirez Jr. said. 

The intent of this process is to help students prepare for Block III, as this is the final block necessary to graduate. It is also known as clinical teaching; students acquire field-based experience, which is required by the state. At Texas A&M International University, students who do not pass the certification exam cannot go out and gain this experience.

“It is a very stressful thing,” Ec-6 bilingual emphasis major Elia Diaz said, “since I spent three years of my life dedicated to this major for me to get stuck and not be able to move on.”

Difficulties can increase for students since they need to pass not one but four exams for their teacher certification.

Something that helped relieve students included the return of the grading system to normal.

Ramirez said that it was brought back because “Our students now are performing at a higher rate on the state certification exams,” Ramirez said regarding the change in the grading system.

This lifted some weight off some students’ shoulders.

“It was a relief having a normal grading system [again],” Diaz said. “There were some A’s that I missed because of the grading system.” 

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Intramural all-star team faces defeat

Intramural all-star team faces defeat

By Cesar Neira
Bridge contributing writer
Published Monday, April 20, 2020

Short-handedness contributed to a two-game loss for TAMIU’s recreational men’s basketball team during the intramural all-star tournament. The annual National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association Region IV tournament took place from March 7 to 10.

The Recreational Sports Intramural Open Basketball League All-Star team from Texas A&M International University is composed of the best players from the league’s open tournament. TAMIU suffered defeats against Stephen F. Austin and Trinity universities at the all-star event.

The team already faced an uphill challenge due to its shorthanded roster of six players.

This, along with the team being composed primarily of point and shooting guards, the men did not have the highest hopes in regards to making a deep Cinderella run in the tournament.

“We were the shortest team there,” guard Javy Carranza said, following their initial blowout loss to Stephen F. Austin. “We only had one player we could substitute. Despite these challenges, we were gonna do our best to make ourselves proud.”

While the first game ended in a blowout, TAMIU fared better in its second game, against Trinity, which ended in a 54-47 loss.

“We just wanted to represent TAMIU in the best way possible,” starting point guard Nick Martinez said. “Yeah, we know it’s just a rec league, but we just wanted to let the rest of the teams know that they shouldn’t sleep on us.”

The second loss to Trinity ended the weekend for the TAMIU men. The eventual champions of the tournament were the University of Missouri.

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Coronavirus affects TAMIU campus

Coronavirus affects TAMIU campus

By Maria Reynero
Bridge contributing writer 
Published Monday, April 20, 2020

As the threat of COVID-19 spread, TAMIU’s policy began and continues to be following the regulations and guidelines of the City of Laredo Health Department. Since the initial spread, the campus was partially closed for many activities, face masks are required to enter campus buildings, and other initiatives set forth by Laredo.

A virus which began as a case in Wuhan, China, became an outbreak, and spread to numerous other countries before becoming a global pandemic. The coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, spread to the U.S. It can be deadly once it causes the COVID-19 disease. Anyone showing symptoms is encouraged to seek medical attention and supervision.

As of April 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website indicates the total U.S. reported coronavirus cases at 720,630, including 37,202 deaths. These statistics include all 50 states and several U.S. territories. Texas alone shows 18,260 cases. So far, there are no reported cases in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia or Palau.

New York was hit the hardest, showing 233,570 cases and its neighbor New Jersey at 81,436 cases. Most other larger population states are between 10,000 to 36,000 cases each. The smallest numbers for the states are Alaska at only 314 cases and Wyoming with 423 and Montana with 426.

“[The] CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China … Reported illnesses have ranges from mild to severe, including resulting in death,” according to the CDC website in February.

Health officials studied the virus to discover its respiratory nature, which makes it faster for people to be severely affected.

“It looks like it’s being spread through aerosol droplets,” TAMIU biology instructor Oscar Ramos said in February 2020. “That’s one of the reasons that it’s highly contagious because there are aerosols that come out of your system, and in those aerosols we have the viral particles themselves so it’s the respiratory route.”

The respiratory system is able to bring oxygen and other particles into one’s body, Ramos said, and so these aerosol droplets are inhaled as well and can contaminate nearby people.

“When there is a health outbreak on campus, whether it’s the flu, the coronavirus or meningitis, we have certain standards that we have to follow so we base ourselves on the practice of the City [of Laredo] Health Department,” Director of Student Health Services Claudia Beltran said. “They are the entity in our community that dictates what we’re going to do in a health outbreak. In this situation like the coronavirus, we have certain guidelines that we follow and the Health Department is very responsible in the fact that they send updates every so often whenever new information comes out.” 

There are certain protocols to take when a virus like this threatens a community. TAMIU officials train to prepare for a variety of health outbreaks on campus. They rely on the Health Department for a variety of necessary actions.

“An emergency response kicks in when there is any type of emergency,” Beltran said in February. “We … basically follow what the Health Department [tells] us in that instance. What we do, we start screening students or faculty or whoever it would be here on campus for symptoms that are indicative for coronavirus.

“In this case, if it were to outbreak then we go into what is called an emergency response. Basically, we would set up like a quarantine and so we would have to isolate certain people. Based on what the Health Department tells us, so if they say we would need to keep people here on campus, the living communities like the dorms or the village is where we would start.”

Since February, TAMIU began to implement plans throughout March as it followed Health Department protocols.

“…not approve any foreign travel by Texas A&M International University students, faculty and staff while the outbreak of COVID-19 remains a dynamically changing and uncertain situation. Summer programs, including exchange programs, are also on hold until further notice,” President Pablo Arenaz told all University employees in an early March email.

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Division II football team debate

Division II football team debate

By Karla Juarez
Bridge contributing writer
Published Monday, April 20, 2020

Despite its identity as a popular Texan sport, TAMIU is devoid of a football program. After all, Texas is the only state with an NFL team named after the people who live in it: the Texans.

Texas A&M International University’s Athletic Department offers most of the major sports one can think of. There’s men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, there’s even a golf team and a cross country team. Nearly every semester, students wonder why TAMIU lacks a football team even though it’s often considered “America’s sport.”

While baseball continues to be called “America’s pastime,” football continues to rise in popularity for the past couple decades. According to a Wall Street Journal article, “From 2000 to 2009, the latest year for which figures are available, the number of kids aged 7 to 17 playing baseball fell 24 percent, according to the National Sporting Goods Association, an industry trade group. Despite growing concerns about the long-term effects of concussions, participation in youth tackle football has soared 21 percent over the same time span, while ice hockey jumped 38 percent. The Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association, another industry trade group, said baseball participation fell 12.7 percent for the overall population.”

“I don’t know why we don’t have a football team in this University, actually,” TAMIU history major Alan Perez said. “Can you imagine how much more publicity and students we would have if we did?

“A couple of friends of mine didn’t come to TAMIU because they didn’t have a football program here and the university they’re at right now does. A football team has, easily, 30 members. That’s 30 more tuitions coming in.”

In actuality, NCAA football teams include up to 125 players but most do not have that many. Of those 125 players, only a maximum of 85 can receive a scholarship.

Some might believe part of this is due to NCAA Div. II regulations: “Division II institutions have to sponsor at least five sports for men and five for women (or four for men and six for women).” TAMIU offers six sports for women, though: basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball, cross country and golf. Men have one less sport than women at TAMIU.

Even one member of the men’s soccer team agrees a football program could bring in more students.

“I think it’ll make Laredo and the University look more attractive and interesting,” business major Luis Diaz said, as translated from Spanish. “Which means more people will want to visit the city and attend the school.”

Another concern opponents hold in regards to adding a football program is the possible rise in tuition costs. There are precedents where tuition spikes occurred in universities and colleges after adding football to the sports roster.

“The Big Game: College Football Stealing Your Education” is a two-minute video citing that “82 percent of college football programs lose an average of $11 million per year.”

This potential tuition increase creates a reluctance to support such a program, like sophomore biology major Yadixa Teran said.

“No, I wouldn’t be OK with it,” Teran said. “We don’t need a football team at TAMIU and when you actually think about it, most of the students here are from a medium- to low-income household. So most of the students won’t be able to afford a rise in tuition.”

Diaz, however, was adamant that the program is needed for future University growth.

“Because in the end, in my opinion, it’s going to bring in more money,” he said, as translated from Spanish. “I’m OK with paying more tuition for the implementation of a football program because it’s going to improve our university by a lot.”

According to the short “The Big Game: College Football Stealing Your Education” the cause of increasing student debt is attributed to college athletic departments, more specifically, their football programs.

“Schools with strong football programs have increased tuition by as much as 65 percent,” according to Scholorships.com.

“In my honest opinion, the team would just be a waste of money,” Yadixa said. “It’s going to cost millions of dollars to just start the program, and it’ll cost much more to keep it going. They should be more focused on keeping students safe by placing cameras on campus, creating new degree programs and hiring more professors than building a new football team from scratch.”

TAMIU junior criminal justice major Alexa Mendoza said the expenses to build a football program are a lot more than most realize.

“Let’s look at what it’ll take to just start a program.,” Mendoza said. “They’re going to need the equipment. So, shoulder pads, helmets, cleats, uniforms, footballs and—oh, yeah, a stadium. Also, let’s not forget the team members and a new football coach, several actually, because it takes more than one coach to train so many members in a sport as complicated as football.

“Now, will the players be protected by an insurance plan in case they get hurt and will they also be offered scholarships? Because if they are, then where is all of this money going to be coming from? Sure, some of it can be state funded, government funded and even funded by donations, but the school, and in turn its students, are going to have to put in most of the money and that’s money the school could be using for more important things.”

Realistically, despite all the speculation, a football program might be out of TAMIU’s reach for the time being.

“A football program is not in the talks right now,” Athletics Director Griz Zimmerman said.

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OPINION: Being essential these days

OPINION: Being essential these days

EDITOR’S POINT of VIEW
By David Gomez Jr.
Editor-in-chief
Published Monday, April 20, 2020

The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, causes the disease COVID-19. The ‘rona, as some people are calling it, came fast and deadly. It added pressure to an already fragile economy.

At the front lines of keeping the economy afloat, other than the medical, grocery store clerks, farmers and janitorial staff who deserve so much praise, are also the other “essential” businesses.

I am currently one of those essential workers.

David Gomez Jr.

I work in a hardware store, yet it doesn’t feel essential. I recently went from a part-time to a full-time employee. Nowadays, the type of customers who come into the store are those tired of being at home. It used to be just the casual, usual handyperson customers. Now, they look around and “shop” for the things they need or other things because they found time for their DIY projects.

Though, I am torn down the middle. My first reaction is, “stay at home,” and my second thought is, “I’d go out anywhere if I were stuck in my home and couldn’t handle myself for days in a row doing nothing.”

Times are difficult and as much as we’d like to go out as it were before March 16, we cannot.

Working in an essential field, I feel grateful, but exhausted. Lines stretch out in front of the store. Asking an impatient customer to wait is like telling a river to stop flowing. Those kinds of people want to see you as miserable as they are, but the truth of the matter is that we are miserable, too. At least I know I am.

Tired. Exhausted. Running on three to five hours of sleep a day because college online classes make things even more tiresome. Lethargy sets in and I am suddenly behind. 

“Maybe things will be better if I quit my job,” I think to myself or, “leave The Bridge altogether. I mean, we’re almost at the end of the semester and have switched to online now. No one will read it.”

These are my thoughts when things get difficult. And they have been difficult, but it’s also the only way to show my true character. I don’t want to be known as a quitter.

When I was younger, I was known to give up on many things. I’m not like that anymore. The idea of dropping everything seems like a relief but I am my harshest critic who will criticize every decision ever made. I know for certain I will never forgive myself if I chose to drop it all.

This is not only a test of my own will, but to everyone who is essential and continues to work till their head is pounding. Requests by management to disinfect the area, keep a head count of customers inside the store, make sure I’m wearing protective gear, restock the new materials received, help customer with their needs and my personal favorite, short staffed because my coworker was exposed to the virus and might have it—so they will be quarantined until their results come in.

I wouldn’t wish this virus on my enemies but it all adds up, takes a toll and makes one quite agitated and frustrated.

This is a test of patience for everyone. And no one can cheat off someone else this time. Everyone must keep their head down and give it their all—even from a couch. Take care of yourselves and each other.

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OPINION: Time on our hands

OPINION: Time on our hands

Allison Villareal | Special to The Bridge

ARTIST’S STATEMENT
By Allison Villareal

Bridge contributing illustrator
Published Monday, April 20, 2020

For this concept, I intended to use variety, contrast and movement to demonstrate the overwhelming and uneasy feelings that can be experienced when having too many things in our hands.

I used variety by having hands of many sizes holding different objects that represent time, relationships, health, financial issues, chores, education, entertainment and self care. I used contrast to highlight the dark pressures and stress that can be behind each responsibility that is being held. I used movement to express the variety of weight each hand is carrying.

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