Youth: Meet Vy, a Student at the University of Washington Bothell

Interviewer: Vy Nguyen; May 27, 2020

Interviewee: Vy Mai, Student @ University of Washington Bothell & Medical Receptionist @ Evergreen Health

The University of Washington Bothell campus (Facebook).

Could you tell us more about who you are and what you are studying?

Hi, I am Vy Mai. I live in Bothell with my boyfriend Conner and our dog Coco. I am also a junior studying public health at UW Bothell. I am minoring in Health Education and Promotion as well as Global Health. I am also double majoring in Science, Technology, and Society.

Has COVID-19 affected your studies at all? How do you feel about online learning and do you prefer it over in-class learning?

Yes, COVID-19 definitely has affected my studies and my learning. I like in-class learning over online learning; however, I understand the situation we are in at the moment. I will continue to learn online until it is safe for my classmates and I to go back to learning on campus. Not being able to directly talk to my professors has been really hard and not being able to meet in person with members of my group are also challenging. However, a plus is that I am more comfortable at home. I find myself not scared of asking questions and giving my opinions because no one can see me. Online learning has definitely helped me put my ideas out there, which is something that I would rarely do in class.

" Online learning has definitely helped me put my ideas out there, which is something that I would rarely do in class."

Can you talk about how COVID-19 has changed your work settings at your clinic?

At the beginning, around March, we saw a dramatic decrease in patients so our providers definitely had a hard time adjusting. They had to cut everybody’s hours because less patients means less work to do. Even though they cut hours, they changed it so that I myself became busier than I usually am and had to complete work meant for four people.

How has COVID-19 changed your day to day routine?

Well, all of my classes are online so I kind of like it better because then I don’t have to wake up early and get ready or get dressed. I can just open my laptop and be ready for class. As far as work goes, I work every day now so that has made me a little bit busier, and because I am working more, I had to find additional care for my dog so that she can be taken care of. Both my boyfriend and I have been a lot busier, so it has been hard to find time with her.

Has COVID-19 changed your life in a larger way than day to day?

Financially, it has kind of made an impact for me. My boyfriend and I have had some help with the energy company and things like that. Companies like that have kind of been helping out their customers, but obviously it has been financially draining. It has not had as big of an impact for me as it has been for others and socially it has also been deterring.

What have you been doing to stay connected to those who you cannot see in person (friends, family, classmates, etc)?

Well, for classmates, I see them in class through zoom. As for friends and family, I do find myself being able to talk more with friends and family just because we all have more time on our hands, and I find myself wanting to check in and make sure that everyone is okay and that everyone is safe. It has definitely changed relationships for the better.

"I find myself wanting to check in and make sure that everyone is okay and that everyone is safe."

What lessons have you learned as a result of this whole situation?

I have learned that honestly a lot of people are selfish. For instance, some people that are coming to the clinic refuse to wear masks and refuse our protocols even though we are doing it for their safety as well as the safety of others. Although, there has also been a lot of generous people. There are people donating masks and companies giving out things such as free food. However, there are still a lot of selfish people and people that don’t think about others before they do things. There are some business owners that continue to operate, even though they should not be. There are people that are protesting, so this pandemic has definitely shown a lot of people’s true colors. I feel like this time should be a time where we should all be supporting each other and lifting each other up. I see a lot of people doing the opposite.

What do you miss most about life before COVID-19 and what do you look forward to when things do go back to normal?

The thing I probably miss the most is hanging out with friends and family. I miss not having to worry about who has been where and who has been infected and what not. What I look forward to the most, post COVID-19 I think, would be just getting back to a routine. For me, it has not really changed because I am still working and still going to school. I hope that from this we can learn, for one at the hospital that I work at, we can learn to put protocols in place in case this happens again. I hope that we can learn that we can learn to be more caring and thoughtful of one another.

If you could give just one piece of advice to anyone who is in need of it right now, what would that one piece of advice be?

Keep your head up, know that this won’t last forever. We all need to come together to ensure a better and safer future for everyone.