March 17, 2021

Results of My COVID Pandemic Poll

Wow. I was going through the results of the poll I wrote up the other day, including the written-in answers of life changes that happened during the past year, and I am truly humbled. I'm actually in tears as I write this.

When in lockdown, or quarantined, it's easy to live in your own little bubble. You are aware that there are terrible things going on due to this horrible disease, but unless it affects you personally (either yourself or close loved ones) it's easy to distance yourself.

I think that if we could actually SEE what's happening in hospital settings with COVID patients, it would have a huge effect on those of us in our bubbles. It's not that I wasn't aware of people being on ventilators or having to say good-bye to loved ones via Zoom or Facetime; I knew that was happening (and still is). But I think that if we could see a documentary that truly shows what is happening, people would take it much more seriously.

When I saw the first two episodes of The Good Doctor this season, I was a little in shock. I have no idea how accurate it was as far as what hospital settings look like now, but it made the whole pandemic feel more REAL to me. It was scary to see, and it made me want to see the real life happenings. Not in a "train wreck" kind of way, but in a compassionate way--I want to know what front line workers are going through, what their typical day is like working with COVID patients, and how it has affected their mental health.

This gave me an idea for a series of posts (yes, I've been all about series lately!). I'd love to feature first-hand accounts from people in several areas via guest posts:

  • doctor
  • nurse
  • occupational and/or physical therapist
  • teacher
  • stay-at-home mom
  • COVID patient who was in serious condition
  • someone whose loved one passed from COVID
  • high school student who had to adjust to virtual learning
  • funeral director
  • someone who is single, living alone, and had to quarantine
  • anyone else who was seriously affected by the pandemic

If you are reading this and would like to share your experience, please send me an email at: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. 

I'll share the results of the poll below, but first I just want to list some of the answers that people wrote in for the "other" section in Major Life Changes. These are what brought me to tears...

Relationship struggles 

Grandma died, not from COVID, and had to attend her funeral virtually

Mom died, not from COVID

Spouse diagnosed with a major illness

My adult sibling moved in with me for 9 months. Love him but stressful at times.

The unexpected addition of my children “going to school” at home has been life-saving in some positive but more negative ways. It’s been very hard for my kids and myself. 

Lost my wonderful dad. Cause of death was not formally COVID, but COVID did have an impact on his passing.

My husband passed May 2019. Within a year I lost my 2 dogs. I was very aware that my heartbeat was the only one in my house. I've since adapted.

My husband deployed.

Became an empty nester.

Death of my grand father, not related to COVID.

We are going to have to really fix the house or sell it and move. The four of us at home, every day, all day, during a whole year has taken a toll in the house. Everything looks much older, dirtier, wore down.

Teacher - from home.

Kids moved home from college because of COVID.

Spouse left us.

My daughter experienced a very traumatic event in September which affected me in many more ways than the quarantine.

My daughter went through treatment for an eating disorder.

Family issues because of differing opinions of COVID.

Had to leave job due to lax COVID protocols.

There was a shooting at my husband's work - extremely traumatic.

Switched jobs..I am a teacher which has been super stressful--both in-person with masks and online

Loss of two family members, not from COVID. Hard to grieve at a distance.

My husband is working from home (in the laundry room!).

Even though my school went back in-person in September, I am my campus's 4th grade remote teacher. I have hated it every single day.

Became a stay home teacher to two elementary school kids.

Marriage separation.

Grandmother passed, not from COVID, and we had to wait forever to do a service.

Mom was sick with bladder cancer since July 2020 and died in Feb 2021 - miss her so much.

In February 2020, my husband had a heart-attack and double-bypass open-heart surgery, then was on a feeding tube for several months. The first four months of the pandemic were all about this. It feels like I've been playing "catch up" since.

My mother-in-law died of cancer.

Lost my mom.

Elder care of sick mother.

Experienced COVID myself! Lost my sense of taste and smell.

Lost a pet :(

My father died during lockdown (not COVID)

My partner's mother moved in with us last month.

Lost three of my in-laws - not COVID related.

Mom diagnosed with breast cancer and unemployed for six months.

Husband’s hours got cut, I went to working fully remote, and we all had COVID.

Lost mother to cancer and I was also diagnosed with cancer.

I'm so sorry for all of you that have gone through something traumatic (big or small). With the pandemic, I imagine a lot of other hardships were overlooked which must have felt invalidating. Not all responses were hardships, however--here are some "feel good" ones:

Adopted two kids and took in a foster child.

Re-kindled my relationship with God (may really found it for the first time)

Graduated nursing school

Got married after 10 years together!!

Graduated with my PhD (and have been intensely job searching since then--August 2020)

Down 64 pounds, 20 to go.

Got Married

Changed careers--became a fitness instructor and in the process of becoming a personal trainer.

Changed jobs and so did husband but those were good changes

Recovered from an illness...staying home helped!

I retired

I started working with a health coach in October of 2020. I am currently 23 pounds down from my highest weight. The focus is on movement.

I value time with loved ones more.

Started Noom November 30 and 75 Hard January 1. Today is Day 75 and I’m down 16 pounds and finally feel in control after gaining a lot of weight the last two years!


Totally rearranged our house and did a ton of upgrades.

Got engaged, sold a house, bought a house, got married - in less than 10 weeks this past Fall.

I work at school, so had March to August off with pay and unemployment. Really enjoyed my time off.

Went from working in an office every day to working from home full time and hope to continue past the pandemic!

Here are the numerical results from the poll. I wasn't surprised by a lot of them, but some of them did surprise me--like the number of people who adopted pets! I think it's awesome. (These results were current as of about 5:00 PM today. I've left the poll open for anyone who still wants to do it, so the numbers may change. Once you submit your responses, you are able to view the results.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the poll! This past year has impacted all of us--on a large scale or small scale, good or bad. Let's hope that this will be over soon. Until then, stay safe, Friends!


  1. The pandemic effects my husband and I at our antique store. Masks are required and I've been screamed at by some people who are against masks. One woman coughed as hard as she could in my face. And another one yelled F--k You! They've threatened to call the cops, slam doors. Sickening. We're just trying to pay our bills and stay safe. Gives me a shitty attitude about people.

  2. I love a good poll, and yours fit that description. Wow! 2020 in a snapshot. Thanks for sharing this. Sending love to the many suffering losses or hardships and congrats to those who managed to pull off anything even slightly resembling a win! Thanks always Katie for your concern about your readers. It really shows.

  3. I have been meaning to write you for some time to thank you. Last year before lockdown you made a comment about not wanting to do WW especially the way it is now. That comment got my curiosity up! I checked WW out and found that one of their programs suited me well. I joined and lost 30 pounds this past year. The structur of WW sustained me through the lockdown and a string of bad luck (house robbery, death of family member in nursing home, death of pet, husband’s illness). So I really owe you a huge debt of thanks. I always enjoy reading about you and your family.

  4. I love to see these results! Thank you for posting this! :)

  5. Thanks for doing this poll. I was interested in seeing the results...and I'm not too surprised with them. It's somewhat comforting to know that I'm in the majority when it comes to my answers ;). Thanks again!

  6. I would be interested in hearing how the pandemic affected someone who is a therapist/counselor. I work in the mental health field, not as a therapist, but can see that it could take a toll on a therapist/counselor.


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive