Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

A New Job and A New Home During COVID-19

By Shelley Cathcart | May 18, 2020


Moving to a new state and starting a new job during a pandemic wasn’t in my “life plan,” but the universe had other ideas. Like many around the world, we are all grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of March, I packed my car and rented a U-Haul to make the trek up to New Jersey from Georgia. While driving, I was concerned and worried for what was to come in the future after the outbreak of COVID-19. A few days later, I started my new job at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts and was completely overwhelmed by the kindness of the staff at the Museum and the citizens of Madison. Signs posted around the city informed me of the posture towards generosity and hope during this time of separation and anxiety. Each morning I walk into the Museum, I see signs with the phrases “Don’t Give Up!” or “We’re in this together” which continue to provide optimism for the future. My favorite signs are those dedicated to our fearless first responders, healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, and other essential employees.

Other signs indicate the need for “six feet” like the one at Giralda Farms. The charming British phrase, “Mind the Gap” instantly captured my attention. The importance of social distancing is vital in order to keep the walking path open for my fellow runners, joggers, and walkers. Especially since many of us are stuck inside day in and day out!

With this “new normal” thrusted upon me – like many of my fellow New Jerseyans and Americans – I had to purchase a face mask and decided to support an Etsy shop by the name of Fox Moth. Americans don these masks while shopping at grocery stores, Target, or other shops. I love seeing the diverse fabric selection utilized from Disney-themed to sport’s teams and floral to camouflage. Even though social distancing is the suggested means of interaction during the pandemic, these masks provide a quick glimpse into the individual’s character.

As the situation evolves, I continue to grasp to hope and maintain gratitude. I’m thankful for my health and those who are fighting on the front lines for my safety and those of not only New Jersey but the nation. Thank you!

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