From California To Texas Again

A Mountain Woman’s Thoughts On Getting Laid Off During A Pandemic

Jasmine wears a mask sunglasses and workout gear. She stands in the middle of an empty road flashing a peace sign.

It happened slowly, and then all at once. One moment I was completely fine hiking with my friends in the woods after weeks of recovering from a bout of actual flu and pneumonia, and then the next I’m stuck in the house again for fear of dying from a new illness—Covid-19. I had started a new job the week of the beginning of the stay at home order in the middle of March in California.

I was completely fine that week, but then something happened when they closed the hiking trails to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. I couldn’t think or figure anything out until they opened them up again with social distancing guidelines. It all clicked again when I went back out into the woods, this time with a mask on my face. However, when many offices planned to reopen their doors and end working from home, I was laid off.

I took a trip halfway through the pandemic, when they slowly began opening the trails, I found myself venturing out more. As time grew on, I stayed out longer. I always wore a mask, had eye protection, and set up a mobilized decontamination station that eventually lead me to devise a trip to drive nonstop with my sister to Texas.

Jasmine standing in the middle of a dusty desert road. She wears a mask and sun glasses and stares off camera.

It was standing on the edge of Route 66 in New Mexico on Navajo land where we ended up stopping to fill up my canteen with water from the 2-gallon jug I had in the back of the car.

It was a flawlessly executed trip that went without skipping a beat. It was great being able to get out for a little while, reset, and to be able to see beyond my apartment during this pandemic in a socially distanced way–on the road, and in the outdoors.

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