As we are coming to the end of our ‘Equestrian Lives in Lockdown’ blog series we hear from Abriana Johnson from North Carolina, USA. Here’s what she had to say…
I walked into work one day in late March to hear that I was an essential employee. I was handed a letter and an ID card and told it was for “if we get to the point where police stop you while you are on your way to work”. As a black woman in America, this triggered me on several levels. I was considered an essential employee by working at a veterinary hospital, but as the Pet Resort manager, all of my business’s services were deemed non-essential. I am over 6 people who may or may not have jobs in a month. The anxiety surrounding THAT in particular made me jittery, distant and slightly nauseous.
After the quarantine routine set in, I became more comfortable. Working for a large company has its perks and we were able to minimize the effect on our employees by catching up on training and cleaning. There was still an issue though. I didn’t want to seem selfish or ungrateful but I was actually jealous of people who were at home. Social media showed all of the projects people were completing that they didn’t have the time to do pre-quarantine. Many of my horse friends who have horses at home were riding more, working with their horses more. I can’t deny, I felt envious… thankful to have a job, but longing for a break.
I have so many passion projects that have not received the attention I would like. My podcast, Young Black Equestrians The Podcast, as well as a side business could benefit from some undivided attention, but instead I am going to work, interacting with the public, and hoping for the best. When I did start working with my horse a bit more, I took a fall that ended with me going to urgent care and being sent home on crutches (just a sprain thankfully). Completely random incident that was not my horse’s fault, but prevented me from riding for over 2 weeks.
I have a mix of emotions about this entire COVID experience. As a student who has studied One Health, the interdisciplinary study and collaboration of human, animal and environmental medicine, I can only hope our post-COVID normal is one that acknowledges our relationship with the environment and pushes a more holistic view of the human, animal and environmental triad.
Make sure you check out the other blogs in this series from all over the world!