The yard signs on Create Dunwoody's website.
Photo: Create Dunwoody
Photo: Create Dunwoody

How your neighbors are coping – and the challenges they face

Clearly, the coronavirus is testing everyone’s patience and resolve.

Some of your Northside neighbors are finding solace through their relationships with family and friends. Others, particularly those who own business, are struggling with the pressures of it all.

Today, we wanted to share some of their stories.

‘Such heartache’

There is so much we do on a daily basis that at one time seemed routine and unbearable. I now dream to do it again – simple things, like stepping into a grocery store.

Every day, “normal life” seems like an eternity ago.

Of course, the financial burden has hit everyone so hard. We had to let go of almost 40 servers and kitchen employees and that has left me with such heartache that I can’t sleep at night. There is also the pressure of paying rent, bills and mortgages coming up that has left me feeling drained.

I tend to look at life differently in so many ways. I am scared and nervous and yet so very grateful. I know all of that sounds so strange in a sentence together, but then again everything is so strange right now.

I’m looking forward to having the chaos and hustle of everyday life again – without the stress of the coronavirus on top of my head.

Maryam Aytac was born in Iran and now lives in Alpharetta with her husband, Kemdino, and their two sons. The couple owns Café Istanbul restaurants.

Pandemic brings family ‘closer’

My parents are so worried I am going to starve to death that they are actually shipping me home-cooked meals via UPS. My dad catches Pompano in Florida, bakes it, then ships it. It’s surprisingly good.

I have five siblings and we have talked more in the past two weeks than we have all last year with our weekly video chats on Google Hangouts. Nothing like a pandemic to bring a family closer.

I have worked from home since 2009, and for some reason It’s starting to wear on me. Maybe because I can’t leave any time I want and do whatever I want?

I’ve been cooking from home a lot lately and whipping up old recipes is like running into a friend you haven’t seen in a while. That’s nice.

I’ve never had a full tank of gas last me for so long!

Danny Umali is the principal of Game Theory College Planners. For more than 10 years, he has helped more than a thousand high school students and their families navigate the college problem facing many Americans today. He lives in Sandy Springs with his wife Karen and his three terriers.

‘Live life to its fullest’

I won’t take for granted that I have a choice to live life to its fullest potential, l because I can, and no one limits me to do so.

As we are restricted now with socializing and doing business as usual, we all need to be grateful that will be able to do those things again.

Let’s never take that for granted.

I also won’t take it for granted that I love seeing people being able to work and provide for their families. This is hard on the heart to realize people are having a hard time with the basic needs of food, water, diapers, and so on.

We can never take having the opportunity to work for granted.

Janet Rodgers is president and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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