Coronavirus and its Impact

I will be talking about COVID-19 and how it has affected me personally, academically and professionally.

Puppy Playland and Why It's My Favorite Dog Park

In the interview above, I talked with my mom, Gayle Maltby, about the only dog park in New Braunfels. Before I adopted my dog, Honey, my mom has never been to this dog park before. She started to go with me when I took Honey so that she could get some sunshine and fresh air. I asked her about the park and if she thought it was a nice place to spend an afternoon with your dog.

Puppy Playland in New Braunfels is my dog's favorite place to go, and without being able to take her she's been going crazy and I really don't blame her. It's a great place to take your dog for multiple reasons. Firstly, the dog park is divided into 3 sections: small dogs, agility, and dogs over 25 pounds. It's nice to have those separations so that smaller dogs have their own place to run around and play with dogs their size so they don't get trampled by bigger dogs. The agility area is also nice for people who want to keep their dogs separate from others or just to concentrate more on training their dogs.

I usually take my dog to the regular section, as it's the largest area. It has multiple benches which were donated by local businesses, some even have shaded tents over them. The dog park even supplies mitts for after your dog does their business so that people don't have an excuse to not pick up after their dog. There is a water fountain for both humans and dogs and although my dog doesn't mind drinking from the water bowl, I don't usually drink from the water fountain, as I've definitely seen Great Danes drinking from it. In the spring, wild flowers line the outer part of the park and make a super cute background for photos of your dog.

I've been going since I adopted my dog in late December and have continued to go every weekend, with the exception of the past few weekends due to Coronavirus. Because of this, we have been social distancing and my dog is going crazy. Although I still take her on walks around the neighborhood, she knows that it's just not the same as being able to run freely and play with the other dogs. The park has a google review of 4.5 out of 5 stars and has over 230 reviews, so it is well known throughout the community as the best place to take your dog to play.

Coronavirus' Effect on My Job

Although most people are required to stay at home, my job is considered essiential by Texas State University, so I still go into work on a daily basis. In the interview above, I talked with Lauren Roper, a Texas State University Sophomore who I work with. She is also a student worker at Network Operations on campus, but her experience differs from mine as she still lives in San Marcos away from her parents who live in San Antonio. She talks about how her classes have been different since transitioning to online courses and also what she does at home to stay entertained while being quarantined.

Not that everything else hasn't, but the rules of my job have changed drastically since the Coronavirus began to spread across the United States. I am a student worker at Texas State University in the Network Operations department, and when the stay at home order was issued for San Marcos, I got really nervous. As a student worker, I don't get paid sick leave or paid time off. "If student workers don't show up, they don't get paid," my boss stated. Some people at my job have taken extra cautiounary measures so that they have a lesser chance of coming into contact with someone who has the virus. Several people are working from home, especially those with kids, one technician is working adjusted hours, coming in at 5pm and working until 2am. The lady in charge of the security cameras across campus, Annie Watkins, decided to take 2 weeks of unpaid leave as she has a weaker immune system and does not want to risk getting sick.

Here is a photo of Annie working on a camera that is to be deployed on campus. This was about a week before she decided to take two weeks off due to Coronavirus.

I am extremely grateful that my job is considered essential as I would not be able to pay my bills without my paycheck. However, how things are done at my job have changed. My boss sends out all of the technicians with gloves, sanitizing wipes and face masks out of an abundance of caution. "If any of you don't feel comfortable being here, please request time off and I will approve it with no questions asked." She said in the biweekly stand up meeting. "I understand this is a difficult time, and I want everyone to feel safe while they are doing their jobs." At least two people in my office work from home as they are able to unlike the technicians, and one of my coworkers had to self-quarantine for 2 weeks as he was potentially exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The university has been proactive in taking cautionary measures against the Coronavirus, to the point where working from home has become the new norm. Parking, which was once scarce, has now become more plentiful than ever; one can leave campus, come back and snag their original parking spot. The university has also decided to provide free lunches for those who are still working on campus in person. At the Harris Dining Hall, one can get a free meal which includes a hot protein entrée, a vegetable and a starch along with 2 cookies and a water bottle by just showing their Texas State ID. Thankfully, student workers are also taken into consideration and can also choose to get a free meal. This helps alleviate stress from my day to day life because I don't have to worry about bringing a lunch or trying to figure out where I can go to eat, since most restaurants are either closed or open for takeout only.

College During Corona

So far, my college experience has changed drastically since the Coronavirus took its toll on the United States. All of my courses are now online and must be done all at my own pace and on my own time. Since Texas State shut down in-person classes, I have been working different hours which means I must adjust my working hours to my class schedule and Zoom meetings. I used to work every day and take time off between working to go to my classes, but now I work Monday through Thursday and occasionally take Zoom meetings while I'm at work. By the time Friday rolls around, I've hit my 25 hour per week limit, so I usually take Fridays off in order to get caught up on any online coursework that I couldn't get done at work. So far, this has been working ok, but trying to balance work time and school time is a task that I didn't think would be so difficult. So far, my professors have been extremely accommodating for everyone in their classes and most of them have been very flexible as far as assignments go. The transition to all online has been very difficult but I find peace in knowing that my professors are only an email away and usually more than willing to answer any questions or concerns I may have.

My professors have tried to make the transition a lot easier for us by easing up on assignment requirements and changing the syllabus as the COVID-19 situation is updated. My mutlimedia journalism professor, Dr. Kelly Kaufhold even dressed up as if he was on top of a snowy mountain to make us laugh on the first day that online classes were mandated to start back up after Spring Break. He went ahead of the curve and had us meet via Zoom even before it was required so that we could get a feel of Zoom just in case Texas State decided to move to online courses, which they did.

Here is Dr.K decked out in a heavy jacket and scarf to lighten the mood of the first day of online classes.

This is before Spring Break, when Dr. K had us take our last class before the break in Zoom so that we could get used to using Zoom in case we moved to online courses.

In addition to this, I planned to work an internship over the summer of 2020 and then graduate in December of 2020. I have applied for many internships but it seems like no one is very interested in hiring a summer intern when summer might just be cancelled. However, after applying for at least 30 positions, I managed to snag an internship with a company called Velocity Texas as a summer graphic design intern. The woman who will be my new boss over the summer told me that I was to work a maximum of 29 hours per week and that the position may have to start out remotely, as the position begins in May but the stay at home orders could extend far past that.

The outlook for in-person classes for Fall 2020 is anything but bleak for me and I hope that by the time August comes, Coronavirus will be less of a concern and people can safely go back to their routines. I sincerely hope that I will not have online courses again for Fall, as I enjoy seeing my professors in person and I feel like I learn a lot more when I'm physically in class. I'd hate for my last semester on college to not actually be on campus.

The Corona Effect

So far, the Coronavirus has effected us all in different ways. For essential workers, it means working a lot of extra hours and taking extreme precautionary measures to ensure that they don't get sick while trying to do their job. At places like Walmart and HEB, social distancing measures are being taken, with marks on the floor to indicate a 6-foot distance between each person. There are also plastic shields that surround the cashier's areas so that there are less air particles being exchanged between customer and cashier, and after every use of the self-checkout, the card reader machines and touch screens are sanitized. For most stores, they are constantly out of cleaning supplies, eggs and toilet paper. With the option to pick up your grocery order becoming more and more popular, the likelihood of getting everything you asked for is slim to none.

At Texas State University, those who remain on campus have the option to receive a free meal. For those who want to pick up multiple orders (meaning orders over 3) you must send an email before 5 pm one day in advance with everyone's name and Texas State ID number. For anyone else who wants an individual order, you can walk right up to the tables that are set up outside and order a meal, as long as you have your Texas State ID card and are wearing some sort of face covering. So far, the people who work at Harris Dining Hall provide and handle each meal with extreme caution. Everyone there has a facemask and gloves, and there are markers so that those who are picking up food remain six feet away from each other and the workers. The people who work here are extremely accommodating and try their best to do what they can for those with certain dietary restrictions, such as vegetarianism.

The Texas State campus looks like a ghost town, even more so than it does during the summer. Due to an abundance of people working online, there's always plenty of parking which has never been something I thought I'd experience at Texas State. My coworker and I take afternoon walks around the campus and we very rarely see other people walking around. It's usually just us and the campus squirrels. It's a great way to get fresh air and feel less isolated during a Shelter in Place order.

Coronavirus Cases, Recoveries and Deaths

According to Wikipedia, these are the current statistics of the Coronavirus. You can filter by country, by state and by county. These statistics are constantly changing so it's important to stay up to date on number of cases, recoveries and deaths. Staying alert and staying up to date is especially important due to some people, especially in the United States, not taking the virus seriously and not taking the proper precautions that are necessary to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus.

For instance, most of my friends who are in college are making sure to stay home unless they absolutley need to go to the grocery store. My parents, however, who were both born in the Baby Boomer generation, aren't taking it as serious. They go to the grocery store two or three times a week, and my dad is considering heading to Best Buy to get a new TV. The President of the United States as well as Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas, have been talking about trying to reopen businesses much sooner than what is reccommended by the professionals who are currently researching the Virus.

For now, the United States is in disarray, as almost no one has known the full effects of a global pandemic until now. Everything is so much different than what people are used to, the bars in San Marcos are no longer full of people at one in the morning and the Outlets are totally deserted. With the uptick in people staying home due to the Shelter in Place order, traffic has never been lighter in my experience and people seem to be online shopping now more than ever before.

Flatten the Curve!

Stay safe during the pandemic by following these steps:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Try not to touch your face
  • Practice social distancing and keep a 6 foot distance from others when in public
  • Only leave your house when absolutley necessary
  • Always wear a mask when you are going into a place that will have a lot of people such as grocery stores
  • Support local food industries by ordering to go and opting for contactless delivery or pickup
  • Check local Facebook groups for tips on where to buy items that seem to always be out of stock, such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies
  • You can also find local Facebook groups that will tell you what restaurants are still open and what kind of deals they're having
  • Social Media

    My dog's Instagram is @honey_the_pocket_pit

    My Instagram is @caryn.anne

    To stay informed on the Coronavirus you can follow the Centers for Disease Control's Instagram @cdcgov

    Here is a link that takes you to a New Braunfels page featuring local restaurants and their daily take out menus along with daily deals

    Coronavirus Symptoms:

    These are the Coronavirus symptoms based on the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker

    Common Symptoms:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough
  • Some people may experience:

  • aches and pains
  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • diarrhea
  • According to the CDC, "On average it takes 5-6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days."

    About Me

    My name is Caryn Maltby and I'm a 22 year old college student attending Texas State University. I love taking my dog to the dog park but I haven't been able to since COVID-19 has taken its toll on Texas.

    Contact Me

    My email is, feel free to send me an email!