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Austin’s Corner took a long break because of COVID-19. I bet this word has been on top of your vocabulary list. This pandemic has changed the world and continues to affect our lives—my first blog post was on February 21, 2020, and it’s only coming back now. Yes, the world and politics have changed. How is your life different due to COVID-19? Let’s discuss it.

One has to learn how to use their resources to the best of their abilities, which is difficult for me because I find it easier to help others than myself.

I am fuzzy about the time frame. Let’s say it was three or four months before the world closed down because of COVID-19, and my computer was acting up. As the stay-at-home orders began, this made Zoom a new skill for many of us to learn. Zoom made it possible to connect with family, friends and colleagues in real time. It was bizarre because most individuals were unaccustomed to the new technology and scrambled to learn how to communicate and still are. Unfortunately, my laptop would not participate in anything, including assisting me with my bills. I can write out checks, but I have trouble with legibility. I use a spreadsheet that I created.

Not having a working computer made me frustrated and more dependent on my attendant to do my household bills. You must record how much money you spend. It is part of life no matter your income source, and especially if you are low income, you need to prove what’s coming in and going out. Think for a moment if you need more assistance under the circumstances. Would it be fair to put extra work on your attendant if there was a way to do it yourself?

I have been working with Heightened Independence & Progress (hip) for a long time and Trish Carney called me to see how I was doing. She was able to assist me in applying to receive a new Chromebook through hip’s programs and in November 2021 my new computer was set up by hip’s assistive technology consultant. Now I can do my household bills as usual, attend Zoom meetings, and more.

On Wednesday nights, hip hosts hip’s Home Humpday Happenings on Zoom. It’s fun, we all get together to do arts and crafts or play Bingo. Thanks to hip and my new Chromebook, this is how I have been passing my time.

I would like to hear your thoughts on dealing with this pandemic and what changes would benefit you. Have you gone online more? Do you feel your needs were met during this pandemic?

Austin’s Corner Email austincornerhip@gmail.com

January 5, 2022

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