Can you describe what changes, if any, COVID-19 has had on your life or on other girls you know?
Socially, it’s a lot harder to connect with other people. Especially being pregnant during this whole thing, I’m not really a people person but it’s still been hard connecting with my close friends. It’s hard and worrisome because I risk getting exposed to COVID-19 every time I have to leave the house, or if a close friend has been exposed and then they meet up with me. Having to take transit to meet them or to go to the store is scary.
What is your opinion on the positive environmental effects of covid-19 (i.e. less pollution, clearer waters, etc)?
Clearer waters were insane to see in Venice - you could see the fish and stuff it was crazy! Definitely, I like that for a little part that the parks were empty. Every time you go to the parks there’s like beer cans and garbage everywhere, and it just makes me so sad for the trees, and the animals there. They were clean and empty and [me and my partner] would go to the parks and just sit and talk about Ameila (my daughter). It was so nice because there was nobody there and the grass hadn’t been cut in while so it was comfortable to sit on.
Have you noticed any particular social media trends regarding young women and girls since covid-19?
Disturbing videos of really little girls on Tik Tok, a lot of advertisements for onlyfans - just really sexualizing girls and young women. Some of these [girls] are so young and some videos I feel weird and wrong watching them.... so imagine predators online. And it’s so accessible, like it’s free to watch little girls. I worry about the long term effects this will have on girls and for their safety.
Have you observed or experienced challenges during COVID-19 because of being Indigenous?
Being Indigenous...I don’t know that's already hard enough, I don’t think a pandemic could make it any harder.
What do you think needs to happen to improve your (and other girls and young women’s) ability to succeed and cope with COVID-19?
I would love to be mailed a package of activities, like some colouring pencils and books, activity books, just a weekly thing reminding people and youth that there are things to do. I also definitely need to move, that will help a lot. There’s too many people in the house and it’s not the best environment for me, there’s a lot of bad energy. I’d be a lot happier in my own place with my partner.
How has your overall stress level been since covid-19? How are you coping?
Not too stressed, other than I can’t do anything to pass the time, while I’m waiting for [my daughter] to arrive. I think having to stay inside with 10 other people is very irritating, with no one leaving the house. We got kittens so that distracts me a lot and helps me cope and I was working for a bit and that was taking the stress off, you know doing something productive. I’ve been doing pretty well considering. I’ve been cleaning non stop everyday, and now I’m in a routine and I’m nesting really bad. Cleaning is the best for me right now -- when I clean, and it’s all clean and organized I feel so much better.
JFG is reaching out to teenage girls and young women in the community to hear directly from them about how COVID-19 has affected their lives.