COVID-19 Essay Contest Winner

NAME: Natasha Timmins

AGE: 33 years old

DATE: August 19, 2020

Buffalo Trace District Health Department: COVID-19 Essay Contest:

My personal story has been a difficult one to tell, filling the pages with family disfunction, addiction, and hardships which many people have never experienced. The combination of these things, along with poor decision making, have led me to a 5-year sentence to be served in the Department of Corrections. I had no idea that the world would endure a global pandemic during this already difficult chapter of my life.

Covid-19 emerged in March of 2020 spreading fear and panic not only through our community, but through the entire world. Life changed drastically, even for me. Our daily routines came to a halt. Not only do I fear for my own personal health, but for the health of my family and loved outside of these walls.

For the safety of all, in-person visits that were normally held at the jail have stopped. I can no longer look forward to seeing the smiling faces of my loved ones each week to assure me that they are well and in good health. Our religious services have stopped because ministers are unable to come in and out of the facility. We have very minimal contact with others outside of the few other female inmates in my housing unit.

All of these things are done to protect us and ensure the safety of everyone. However, as a result, an already difficult time has become even more trying for those of us behind these walls. Feelings of depression, isolation, anxiety, and fear have become a daily occurrence.

During this difficult period of my life, I have discovered a lot about myself. I’ve discovered that I am a strong woman, much stronger than I realized. I’ve developed compassion and empathy for others who are struggling far worse than I am, followed by a desire to help others along their journey. I have also learned that my higher power will not place more burden on me than I can handle or withstand.

I have done my best to overcome adversity and difficulties presented by Covid-19 through my own personal strength, support of family and loved ones, and guidance from my higher power. I make daily efforts to stay connected with family and friends through phone calls and letters. I find a positive outlet to express my feelings through art and writing. I meditate and pray daily and involve myself in classes held here at the facility. Most importantly, I try to keep a positive outlook and hold onto hope for the future.

In closing, I hope that my words touch the hearts of those who can relate or are struggling through these tough times the same as I am. This pandemic has affected people from all walks of life, myself included, but I personally have hope that we can persevere and get through this together. I have hope that our personal struggles will somehow mold us into stronger, healthier individuals who all strive for the common goal of defeating this virus and keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy and safe.

Brought to you by the Buffalo Trace District Health Department:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Preferred-Logo-1024x1024.png

Published October 12, 2020.