An Interview with Tatiana Gudjohnsen, FCSN Client

By Claudia Pina, FCSN EB Living Service Program Manager

We are currently living in an unprecedented time. Because of the current pandemic, all of our lives have been turned upside down, and we have all been forced to adapt to our new normal. Tatiana Gudjohnsen, an FCSN client and current Peralta Dream Apartments’ resident, explains how her life has changed since hearing news of the shelter-in-place order.

“Since the quarantine, because of the Coronavirus 2020, life has been very different. When I found out about it, it was very hard for me. When we found out in March that we had to stay in our homes, I also found out my boyfriend was moving to another city. It was hard to handle both things at once.”

However, Tatiana has managed to keep in touch with all her loved ones during these difficult times. In this age, technologies at hand have allowed her to still see her family and friends face-to-face while still maintaining social distance.

“My boyfriend and I are still together and we FaceTime and call each other every day. I also FaceTime my parents, brother, and sister as well as some friends from school. It makes me very happy to see their faces.”

Before the novel corona virus led to shelter-in-place, Tatiana was working as a courtesy clerk at her local Safeway, a job she has held for over 10 years. However, because of the current situation, she has decided to step back from her job for a little while until things get better.

“I have been out of work from Safeway since March 17, 2020. I was getting anxious working at a grocery store during these times, so I decided to take some time off until things get better. I miss my job, but I know this is the best choice for me, and I am just taking this as a long-needed vacation. I am excited to go back to work in June…Hopefully.”

Although Tatiana is not currently working, she has found new ways to fill her time during the day and has created a new routine during this quarantine.

“I been doing a lot of online classes from Day Program and SLS. I really enjoy social skills class on Mondays and Sign Language class on Fridays. Other than taking classes online, I have been dancing, watching tv like Baywatch, Grey’s Anatomy and Law and Order SVU. I also play games like basketball in the house and try to exercise everyday either by taking Zumba classes online or riding my stationary bike. I cook dinner every night at home, but on Tuesdays I eat lunch from a restaurant.”

Even though these last few months have been hard at times, Tatiana is doing well and acclimating to her new routine. She mentions that she has a great support system here at FCSN that has helped her through these times. She wants to thank her staff, especially Lily, who took time to make a beautiful, handmade face mask with her favorite cartoon character, Winnie the Pooh. Lily was able to make a hand- stitched face mask from an old t-shirt Tatiana had. Lily had no prior knowledge about how to make masks but took the initiative to teach herself how to make one by watching a video tutorial online. Lily knew how important it was that clients stay safe by keeping their faces covered; however, at the time, it was difficult to obtain face masks, so she took the initiative and made one.

“Thank you to Lily! She made me a really nice face mask to help protect me from corona virus, and it has my favorite- Winnie the Pooh! I also want to thank Nelly, Ping, Bella and Winnie for taking great care of me in my apartment through this hard time. I am so appreciative for all your help!”

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