Author: Tristan Lorei
Migrant workers, who would spend this fall picking apples at Turkey Knob Growers’ orchard in Timberville, travelled roughly 50 hours by bus from Monterrey, Mexico, late this summer to get to northern Rockingham County. It’s a trip many have made for years. But in 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, everything seems to come with additional risks.
When I came back to JMU this fall for my final semester, I knew that it would eventually happen. I would have to get tested for COVID-19. Sure enough, I found out I had come into contact with someone who developed symptoms the next day. So I went for my COVID-19 test.
Gabby Denford, an intelligence analysis major at JMU, had received in March the news she had been waiting for: she had been extended an offer for her dream job as a threat intelligence officer for the firm Control Risks Group in D.C. But this was March — at the same time America was gradually shutting down and JMU classes were shifting online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today was supposed to be the start of the pandemic-delayed graduation ceremony for JMU’s class of 2020. But after months of anxiously and eagerly waiting, JMU 2020 seniors learned through a July 6 email that the rescheduled Aug.7-8 ceremony would be delayed. Again.
Weeks before students return to Harrisonburg schools and universities for the first time since March, educators have begun implementing safety measures for classes to resume, which includes measures to help students with disabilities navigate the educational landscape amid the pandemic.
Since shifting to an online ordering system for its weekly Saturday markets, the Harrisonburg Farmers Market vendors have faced new challenges. Some have opted out of participating and many of those that haven’t, have experienced slower business than a normal June.
Alena Pardi and her husband, Tim, thought they had found a house in Virginia and could move from Tennessee. But when they arrived in the Valley, they found they had been scammed, and the “seller” had run off with their first rent payment — which amounted to much of the money they had. Stranded, they slept in their car in Walmart’s parking lot. Then the coronavirus hit.
Residents find outdoor refuge in city parks, but Westover pool and other rec facilities’ reopening remain uncertain
While the Parks and Recreation Department has kept open access to trails and fields on its properties, its programming has shifted online and other oft-used facilities, such as the Westover skatepark and all the parks’ playground equipment, remained locked or roped off. The Parks and Recreation department is also unsure as to how and when certain facilities will open up, including the Westover Pool. Parks and Rec employees plan on discussing that in meetings this week.