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QUARANTINE TIMES: THE MEANING OF FREEDOM

Updated: Jul 19


“ I have been living with my best friend and her family since 2018, which was the start of my senior year. I was planning on moving in with my dad once I graduated. Those plans fell through so I remained under their roof.

I wanted to save up for my own place so I got a job at Red Lobster. I have been there for around six months. I recently saved enough money to get a small studio apartment. Right before I could sign the papers, I lost my job due to the coronavirus outbreak.


I felt defeated. I could not get my own place until I had a steady source of income to pay bills. It's been so challenging living with another family. Especially during the stay-home lockdown.


The family has made it very clear that they do not want me leaving the house during this time. It's been a challenging transition from working all the time and always being gone, to doing absolutely nothing in the house. Thinking about being isolated upset me, but I am grateful I have a place to be right now. So I do not leave the house unless it is an emergency.


During this time, I have really gotten to know myself better. It has given me time to unclutter areas of my life I did not have time to pay attention to before. After a while, I began to feel helpless again. I was just mooching off of the family and not bringing any money in or getting closer to my goal of moving out. I decided to apply to four different Walmarts around me. When I received a phone call telling me that my orientation was in four days, I knew things were starting to look up.


I have lived with people too long and I am not going to let no virus keep me where I am. I am happy to say that I am now a Walmart employee and I will be moving into my new apartment on June 1st.”


-Alicia Williams, Walmart employee, Hubbard Ohio. Interviewed by Ivory Marcucci, Class of '22. Environmental Science & Sustainability Major. Communication, Studio Art Double Minor.

WE HAVE FELLOW GATORS LOOKING FOR A SHELTER IN THIS STORM. PLEASE GIVE THEM THE RESOURCES TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. EVERY PERSON NEEDS A HOME RIGHT NOW.


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