My husband and I moved to Southern California with our two young daughters in January of 2020. Before moving, I lived my whole life in the small, conservative state of Utah. Needless to say, moving to California was a big change for me.

We spent our first six months in California living with my husband’s mother and step-father in their small three-bedroom home. Our second daughter was barely 3 months old and we were still adjusting to being parents of two. My husband also started a new job working at his mother’s art studio.

This was our situation when we first heard the news of COVID 19. The virus came to California early and the rumors about the virus spread viciously, especially in the Chinese community, which my mother-in-law is part of, being originally from Taiwan.

The news impacted my husband’s job first. My mother-in-law was forced to practically shut down her art studio and figure out a way to teach art to students over video chat instead of in-person. Luckily, my husband is good with technology and was able to help her out immensely. The business survived COVID-19 luckily, but not without facing the challenges that came with decreasing student enrollment.

COVID-19 also greatly impacted our family socially. My three-year-old daughter was slowly making friends (mostly kids from the church we attend) and was suddenly forced to stop playing with the other kids due to the risks of COVID-19. It was extremely hard for my social three-year-old to not be able to play with other kids or go outside to play on a playground even for a while. It was hard on me socially as well, and I often felt lonely and depressed being in a new place where I didn’t know anyone and had little chance of making new friends.

It was a very hard time overall for our family, but we also learned a lot from our trials and are grateful for our experience. We now live in our own place and are expecting our third baby in August. Things are opening back up and we are making new friends. We are getting used to living in California and are grateful for technology to help us keep in touch with loved ones.